Collapse and the Changing Face of Suicide

by Gary Stamper

We have a winner: According to the American Journal of Public Health, motor vehicle crashes were the leading cause of death by injury between 2008 and 2009. However, that dubious distinction has been replaced by a disturbing new cause: Today, the form of death by injury that takes more American lives than any other is suicide.

The indicated change in death by injury is the culmination of a decade-long trend, and it appears that the primary reason may be the economic downturn in the U.S. and around the world. In the U.S., the rate of death by suicide increased by 15 percent over the past ten years. In Greece, the suicide rate for men rose by 24 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to The New York Times, and by another 40 percent in 2012. Suicides motivated by economic crisis grew by 52 percent in Italy in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics were available. What we do know is that researchers say the trend is intensifying at alarming rates wherever austerity measures have taken place and as the economic downturn continues to worsen.

According to the Huffington Post, there are plenty of anecdotal examples of “economic suicide” in the U.S.. A Tennessee man lit himself on fire earlier this year after finding out he wouldn’t be getting financial help from a private organization. And in May, a California man shot and killed himself in the midst of a legal battle with Wells Fargo, while he faced the prospect of foreclosure.

But that’s only part of the story, especially for the elderly. We’ll get to the new statistics about them a bit later in this article, but let’s take a look at some other alarming statistics about suicide.

In my 2012 book, Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, I point out some other frightening statistics about suicide, especially men. According to the National Institute of Mental Health:

“The levels of depression, suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence among men are all rising exponentially to the point of being staggering and frightening. Ninety-four percent of all inmates are male. Men live an average of seven years fewer than women, suffer far more from ulcers and stress-related disease than women, and are more likely than women to die from the fifteen leading causes of death.”

“Over 80 percent of all suicides are committed by men. In the twenty-to-twenty-four age bracket, males commit suicide six times as much as females, and over the age of eighty-five, men are fourteen times as likely to commit suicide as women.”

As horrible as these statistics are, it’s getting worse – especially among baby boomers – and it’s not just men who are being affected. Even in their youth, boomers have had higher rates of suicide than earlier generations. While the elderly have always had higher suicide rates than the overall population, The Washington Post reported in June that “numbers released in May by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show a dramatic spike in suicides among middle-aged people, with the highest increases among men in their 50s, whose rate went up by nearly 50 percent to 30 per 100,000; and women in their early 60s, whose suicide rate rose by nearly 60 percent (though it is still relatively low compared with men, at 7 in 100,000). The highest rates were among white and Native American and Alaskan men. We also know that suicides are “vastly underreported,” said Julie Phillips, an associate professor of sociology at Rutgers University who has researched this grim trend. “We know we’re not counting all suicides.”

John Draper, Director of the national Suicide Prevention Hotline recently stated:

In light of about 38,000 suicides a year, other data showing that more than eight million adults think seriously about suicide and more than a million attempt suicide in the United States clearly suggest that most suicides are prevented. We know that making it easy to get help is critical, whether through mental health care, crisis hot lines (the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 800-273-8255), clergy or other professional assistance. But hey … let’s defund those!

We know that reducing access to firearms, poisons and other lethal methods is vital in saving lives. We also know that staying connected to family and friends in meaningful ways can also keep people alive in moments of grave despair.
These are things we can all do to reduce suicide in our homes and in our communities. Sometimes it is as simple as picking up a phone and asking for help, or saying to a loved one, “I care about you, and we are not alone; let’s go find someone who can help you.”

We’re a nation that has found meaning in individualism, unrealistic expectations, and financial standing. As James Carville pointed out, “It’s the economy, stupid.” Certainly, as the economy continues to unwind in what author Paul Gilding calls “The Great Disruption,” more and more baby boomers will find a growing number of stressors, including financial battles, taking care of aging parents, many with dementia, and providing economic and emotional support to our adult children, who are also having difficulty launching their own independent lives.

But it’s not only economical. As we move around the country, we’ve become more and more separated, more fractured, and without family or community. A “mobile” nation has found itself without the “family glue” that our ancestors knew was so important.

We’re largely a generation of idealists who are now beginning to realize that our idealism that longed to make the world a better place has failed. Even in a world of online social networks, we have become more disconnected, alone, lost, frustrated. In U.S. News & World Report, one reader cast things in a slightly different light.

“Baby Boomers grew up in an America that had traditional values and decency that today are just buzzwords used by the advertising industry to part us with our hard earned cash. We were idealists, we wanted to make the world a better place. The world we live in now is monopolized by greed, legal fraud and moral decay. We spend our lives working long hours only to find no satisfaction, peace or reward at the end of the day. The cost of everything from housing to medical to food has exploded in the last 20 years, yet our earnings are stagnant, and that’s the lucky ones who haven’t been hustled into bad home loans, or lost their jobs, or had a loved one become seriously ill. We, the working class, find little reason to have hope for a happy calm retirement. Why do so many give up? It’s pretty obvious.”

Many of us want things to change, and for healing to begin. “Suicide is a tragedy that is far too common,” CDC director Dr. Tom Frieden said in a news release. “This report highlights the need to expand our knowledge of risk factors so we can build on prevention programs that prevent suicide.” Specifically, we need to identify new risks for boomers and help their loved ones learn to recognize the warning signs — and equip them with the tools to support them or intervene if necessary.

But in a world of Detroits going bankrupt and becoming the new “steal-the-pensions” model for cities-on-the-brink of bankruptcy all over the U.S., including NYC, LA, Chicago, Philadelphia, Houston, Baltimore, and Miami among others, we can expect to see more and more pensions raided and perhaps millions with no way to support themselves into their elderhood, knowing that no Wall Street crooks will go to jail, at least not in a meaningful way, no CEO’s will have their multi-million dollar paychecks taken from them, and no high-ranking politicians will have their pensions taken, and so what if they did? The perks of being rich are becoming more and more obvious, and it is only the working man who will foot the bill and pay whatever taxes are left to be paid after crony capitalism destroys what’s left.

And, it’s not just the U.S. where suicides are rising as the economic crisis’ deepen. Suicide rates are skyrocketing in Greece, Greenland (the suicide capitol of the world), China (with more women committing suicide than men at a 3:1 ratio, with working conditions as a primary factor), India, Italy, Spain, the UK, and others. The evidence of austerity, massive job cuts, slashed pensions (think Detroit) and soaring taxes all contribute overwhelmingly to the deadly side-effects of economic collapse. No wonder people are beginning to feel so hopeless.

But forget about the above, rising prices, the emerged police state, and energy depletion, all catastrophic to everyone but the elite (at least that’s what they apparently think in their sociopathic worldviews)…

The nail in the coffin – probably not the best way to phrase it – in all of this is the environment, and in the growing awareness of the idea that no matter what we do now, we have very likely passed the point of being able to prevent changes that will make the planet uninhabitable for humanity. No matter what we do, even if we were to completely shut down the entirety of polluting industrial civilization, more and more scientists are beginning to say we have passed the point of being able to stop the changes that are already taking place and that are multiplying exponentially due to positive feedback loops.

A very brief way of describing this is that if planetary temperatures were to hit or exceed 4˚C above the norms, we could not survive. Large scale assessments of climate change and recent new science indicates we could hit an increase of 4˚C as soon as 2030, give or take a decade. However, none of these assessments take any major self-reinforcing feedback loops into account.

In his lengthy essay, The irreconcilable acceptance of near-term extinction, Daniel A. Drumright states:

“As of right now, the entire concept of [Near Term Extinction] NTE is still the most profound abstract concept the human race has ever been confronted with. Even though the signs are everywhere one decides to look, the totality of its cumulative impact is still enough off in the distance for entrenched self-preservation to render it an abstraction in our daily lives. So again, the following is written from the viewpoint as to when this is no longer true, when NTE breaks through abstraction, and detonates in full acceptance of the most profoundly devastating reality we’ve ever had to both live with and through.”

He goes on to say, “What else is NTE other than the final acceptance of the consequences of our species’ fundamental inability to live in balance with our environment?”

But rather than get into a discussion about whether or not we are bound for the 6th Great Extinction, let’s assume for the sake of this essay on suicide that it is true. You can go back to whatever belief you need to hold later. The purpose of bringing up the possibility of NTE is to take a look at if there might be scenarios where taking one’s life actually is the best choice.

Assuming these non-linear climate changes – regardless of their cause – actually make the planet uninhabitable for humanity, the downward spiral of the ensuing collapse would obviously be catastrophic. As more and more people come to awareness of the physical meaning of NTE , the chaos of climate collapse would likely result in death by one of three possibilities: predation, starvation, or suicide.

Drumright rightly points out that choosing the third option, suicide, would no longer carry the “stigma of cowardice,” or be looked upon as a failure of character, but, rather, when the time finally arrives, and all physical hope fades, and any hope of “peaceful tranquility” finally eludes us, deciding when we’ll depart this realm – and how – our chosen death will altruistically be the “last ethical act left us.”

Those of us who believe in “something greater” than ourselves may die more gracefully than those who don’t carry some sort of metaphysical awareness. Perhaps more importantly, it will be easier for us to find meaning in what time we have left largely because we tend to believe that there is purpose to the universe that is not only larger than we are, but that we are – even in our dying – part of that purpose. The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.

A moral and ethical act: Somehow I don’t think God would object.

Stamper for NBL

To read more about this subject, please see my 4-part essay The Great Transition: Humanity at the Tipping Point.

Gary Stamper is the author of Awakening the New Masculine: The Path of the Integral Warrior, and is working on a new book, tentatively titled Collapsing into Consciousness: Birthing A New Human For A New Earth. He has founded and manages Collapsing into Consciousness, a massive website and forum that is the first-of-its-kind community of like-minded visionaries, problem solvers and early adapters, focused on real world solutions around The Great Turning.

____________

McPherson’s latest essay for Transition Voice was published 19 August 2013. It’s here. In addition, McPherson’s work is featured at Vice.

Comments 162

  • I’m totally on board. However, I’m waiting to see the collapse gear up to a fever pitch – I want to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang. I’m like a child waiting for the circus to come to town.

  • Isn’t feedback by definition a loop?

  • Good stuff:

    The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

    Alcohol doesn’t solve any problems, but if you think again, neither does milk.

    “We are all collections of chemicals made in the cataclysmic explosions of stars; we are stardust, soon to be widely scattered about the cold, dark, expanse of space, and no one will remember if you were a good person or a bad person.”

  • The article does not mention if any of the suicides are linked to fatal illness — only economic woe is considered. Suicide is a fine option if life has become unbearable for whatever reason. If you lose control of your life, having control of your death doesn’t have to be an act of desperation. Hunter S Thompson springs to mind as a someone who killed himself because he wanted to, not because he was driven to it. Anyone who does not consider suicide or homicide seriously most likely has something wrong with them anyway.

    With NTE thrown into the mix, suicide can be an altruistic act — destroying oneself in order to stretch the food supplies or whatever. As NTE and collapse become more obvious, suicide will move in the social framework from acts of desperation and despair to an acts of nobility and pride. The stigma against suicide is a religious instead of rational belief. As everything falls apart, and prayers don’t bring the rain or stop the floods or help with finding food for baby, suicide will become the leading cause of death worldwide. In some areas, suicide will be mandatory for those deemed unworthy. No one will care. Fine details will be gone and it will be all bold print living.

  • Never understood the problem with suicide. It’s a solution for the individual, and for the species. I think those who would go through with the process are in no way to be judged, as they are quite obviously in a great deal of pain, and unable to cope. We have no clue what they are experiencing internally. I expect suicide to rise, and would personally consider it if the circumstances make it the most reasonable option. As is, just enjoying the chaos.

  • Thank you, Mr. Gary Stamper, for sharing your insights.

    The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.

    The spiritually inclined should check with liquor shops. The only spirits come in bottles.

    The conflation of awareness with consciousness is a continuing source of confusion. Awareness is consciousness with content (other than “itself”). The mind-body complex is subject to the realm of time-space-causation and to eventual dissolution. The mind consists of content; any awareness associated with it is the conjunction of that content with consciousness. There is no need of any awareness for the functioning of the mind.

    With regard to the quote from Jalaluddin Rumi “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop” as long as there is a “you” (“I”) there will be a “not-you” (“not-I”) to which the ocean is confined. The shedding of the “I” delusion is the message of the Vedanta and Buddhism. No spirits involved.

    An end to life is an accepted part of community, the horizontal, non-coercive network of voluntary interactions among individuals. The vertical coercively enforced hierarchical transactions of society strip individuals of the horizontal support of community and valorise every individual in the social hierarchy.

    When an individual’s worth to a community declines, that individual is shed from the community through mutual agreement.

    Some nomadic African tribes build fixed shelters for such elders surrounded by predator barriers of thornbush branches and leave them behind to their own ends.

    The Eskimos would leave the grandmother out on an ice-floe when a child was born:

    YouTube: Savage Innocents movie playlist

    Society cannot replace the very personal structure removed by dismantling community.

  • Another thing people need to consider is just how low these rates are, per 100,000. This isn’t even 1/10th of a percent. Another thing to consider is how many of these are vets. Military suicide rates are pretty high. I wonder how many get out of the army, go through life for a few years or so, and realize they can’t adapt to civilian life and the PTSD, and call it quits.

    This is far from mass suicide mess. Oh yea, another thing which must be mentioned is the fact that automobiles have improved safety standards, and drunk driving rates seem to have decreased. That means less deaths due to automotive crashes. One goes up, the other goes down, and then you have new rankings.

  • Having germinated his psychological path in a Nazi death camp, Viktor Frankl’s insights might be useful to those contemplating near term extinction. I offer a brief bit on his ideas, and a link to the site I borrowed it from:

    Logotherapy is composed of three basic principles. The first basic principle is that life has meaning in all circumstances, even despondent ones. The second principle is that the main motivational force is the desire to find meaning in life. Lastly, the third basic principle states that humanity has the freedom of attitudinal choice, even in situations of unchangeable affliction (Frankl, 1959). Thus, Frankl purports that people can discover meaning through creative, experiential, and attitudinal values (Hatt, 1965). Creative values consist of achievement of tasks such as painting a picture or tending a flowerbed (Boeree, 2006). Experiential values consist of encountering another human, such as a loved one, or by experiencing the world through a state of receptivity such as appreciating natural beauty (Hatt, 1965). Attitudinal values speak of the potential to make meaningful choices in situations of suffering and adversity (Gelman & Gallo, 2009). Frankl contends that everything can be taken away from a person but the freedom to choose one’s attitude (Frankl, 1959). He stressed that people should not suffer unnecessarily in order find meaning but that meaning was possible when suffering is inevitable. For example, a person subjected to an incurable disease or placed in a concentration camp can still discover meaning even though his or her situation seems dire (Hatt, 1965). Moreover, tragic optimism means that people are capable of optimism in spite of the tragic triad. Frankl believes that all humans will be subjected to the tragic triad, which consists of guilt, death, and unavoidable suffering (Ponsaran, 2007).

    http://www.studentpulse.com/articles/660/2/viktor-frankls-logotherapy-the-search-for-purpose-and-meaning

  • Beautifully-written and timely essay.

    I lost my father, a Baby Boomer, to suicide last year; my grandmother (his mother) a few years earlier; and a cousin (his nephew) over ten years ago. I had a brush with it myself earlier this year, which was a bit cathartic and transformative for me.

    Thank you for posting this, Guy. Best wishes to you and all here.

  • “Those of us who believe in “something greater” than ourselves may die more gracefully than those who don’t carry some sort of metaphysical awareness. Perhaps more importantly, it will be easier for us to find meaning in what time we have left largely because we tend to believe that there is purpose to the universe that is not only larger than we are, but that we are – even in our dying – part of that purpose. The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.”

    That’s a very succint description of why humans prefer the myth of a larger “purpose” to the universe – and that unlike the physical self their “consciousness” will continue. It hurts less. It is the avoidance of pain. It invents “meaning” and promises immortality, conquering the fear of death and oblivion.

    Yet we know – don’t we? – that Thor and Zeus were fabricated. People at the time fervently and genuinely believed in their existence. Is there anything other than an emotional desire generated by our brain to indicate that today’s popular tendency to believe in “consciousness” has more substance than the more fanciful incarnations of deities – or is more valid than all the other spirits that have been invented throughout history? When looked at in the context of one discredited mythology after another, isn’t “metaphysical awareness” just religion by another name?

    Is there any evidence that death for the “metaphysically aware” will be more “graceful”? What is meant by that perjorative judgement?

  • Great and timely essay for sharing here!

    Our crisis will endure until we discover it’s psychic, spiritual, roots; a new spiritual counterbalance to our conscious limits is called for in our time. The suffering and failure it’s lack now causes, will be stamped out as it is created, so we are free to build a new humanity and leave this dying one behind. Until we do, the ever escalating self determination to end ones life, or near death, as witness to the limit the old system represents, will be a constant harsh reminder that this game is over. Time to play a new one, in harmony with self, and so nature.

    The following encapsulates a journey of finding, and birthing, those necessary powers, engendered within self. Powers which will let us do the work, and do so in balance to unlimited joy for life, rather than only in fear of death, that final isolated limit now well understood in consequence.

    For U and Mo,

    “My tongue lacks words, and what happens in me my spirit sees clearly but does not explain. It sees the invisible, that emptiness of all forms, simple throughout, not complex, and in extent infinite. For it sees no beginning, and it sees no end, and it is entirely unconscious of any middle, and does not know what to call that which it sees. Something complete appears, it seems to me, not indeed with the thing itself, but through a kind of participation. For you enkindle fire from fire, and you receive the whole fire; but this thing remains undiminished and undivided as before. Similarly, that which is imparted separates itself from the first, and spreads like something corporeal into many lights. But this is something spiritual, immeasurable, indivisible, and inexhaustible. For it is not separated when it becomes many, but remains undivided, and is in me, and rises in my poor heart like a sun or circular disc of the sun, like light, for it is light. ..,,,
    And questing after it, my spirit sought to comprehend the splendor it had seen, but found it not as a creature and could not get away from created things, that it might embrace that uncreated and uncomprehended splendour. Nevertheless it wandered everywhere and strove to behold it. It searched through the air, it wandered over the heavens, it crossed the abysses, it searched, so it seemed, to the ends of the world. But in all that it found nothing, for all was created. And I lamented and was sorrowful, and my heart burned, and I lived as one distraught in mind. But it came as it was wont, and descending like a luminous cloud, seemed to envelope my whole head, so that I cried out dismayed. But flying away again it left me alone. And when I wearily sought it, I realized suddenly that it was within me, and in the midst of my heart it shone like the light of a spherical sun.”. Buber

  • Belgian Royal Air Force Deputy Chief and Major General Wilfred De Brouwer Report:

    “My name is Wilfried De Brouwer. I am a retired Major General of the Belgian Air Force and I was Chief Operations in the Air Staff when an exceptional UFO wave took place over Belgium. Indeed, during the evening of 29 November 1989, in Eastern Belgium, 140 UFO sightings were reported. Hundreds of people saw a majestic triangular craft with a span of approximately 120 feet, powerful beaming spot lights, moving very slowly without making any significant noise but, in several cases, accelerating to very high speeds.
    The following days and months, many more sightings would follow. The UFO wave would last more than one year during which a Belgian UFO organization conducted more than 650 investigations and recorded more than 400 hours of audio witness reports. On one occasion, a photograph revealed the triangular shape and four light beams of the object.
    In my function of Chief Operations, I was confronted with numerous questions about the origin and nature of these craft. In the first instance, and in consultation with other NATO partners, 1 could confirm that no flights of stealth aircraft or any other experimental aircraft look place in the airspace of Belgium. In addition, the Civil Aviation Authorities confirmed that no flight plans had been introduced and the object(s) committed infractions against the existing aviation rules.
    The Belgian Air Force tried to identify the alleged intruder(s) and, on three occasions, launched F 16 aircraft. On one occasion, two F 16 registered rapid changes in speed and altitude which were well outside of the performance envelope of existing aircraft. In short, the Belgian UFO wave was exceptional and the Air Force could not identify the nature, origin and intentions of the phenomena.”

  • Professional psychologists have been concerned about this trend. Glad to see Gary Stamper shine some light on the accelerating number of suicidal acts.

  • Does it trouble you, infanttyrone, that William Burroughs maintained a lifelong interest in UFOs? Following are a few Burroughs quotes that I am sure will upset your pre-disposed caricature:

    UFO And Alien Subjects Veiled In Naked Lunch, As Book Turns 50

    “You’re not quite human are you”, questioned
    William S. Burroughs after one of his alien encounters that’s
    detailed in the special 50th anniversary edition of his landmark
    book Naked Lunch that includes additions by the author about
    UFOs and aliens; while, also stating that there’s a “lack of
    interest and fear of finding the truth”, as to why UFOs have not
    become the story of the century, as it should be. Naked Lunch
    reaches 50 year milestone.

    “Burroughs was on the list of visitors to Bray’s Point, Oregon”,
    explained Steve Hallett , a retired logger from the region who’s
    hobby is collecting artifacts of the coastal Native American
    tribes that “worshipped the hovering flying discs.”

    The 50th anniversary edition includes outtakes
    and interview transcripts that were considered too crazy
    because of his “alien talk”, in the sixties when civil rights
    and women’s rights trumped those who believed in visitors from
    another planet.

    “Every race and condition and potentiality no matter now vile
    and horrible must merge into new forms. Just as the disciplines
    of physics, literature cannot maintain separate existence in the
    ‘light’ of the facts of ESP and alien life. This understanding
    that we are not alone will knock down our wall of
    misunderstanding with a sledgehammer”, wrote Burroughs in his
    Naked Lunch outtakes.

  • Gail – “It hurts less. It is the avoidance of pain.”

    you have no idea what you are talking about. you have no idea what it means to be both entirely unafraid of death, and yet at the same time be willing to face and experience and do your best to heal what the worst evil of the world has to offer. the level of pain involved, the level of seemingly unending and unsolvable suffering, would fry you and your pathetic assumption flatter than texas roadkill.

    i did some of my earliest training on my path as a suicide prevention volunteer. this was way before I had the emotional maturity I do now, and eventually was to hard for me to deal with at the time. i hadn’t healed enough inside. that longer path, even after I had been given the most astounding tools imaginable as aids, was still almost too steep for me to climb, but I made it, and I am now helping others make it through the worst.

    really, Gail, you have no idea at all what you are talking about sometimes, and I would beseech you to take your ever so tiny and self serving observation here about what is easier and less hurtful and consider it deeply. it is far too cute, and I honestly believe it doesn’t suit you.

    how many others have been willing to suffer the most blinding agony in order to try and understand what suffering was all about, and actually do something about it? in order to help the rest of the suffering world? here is one: the Buddha and his philosophy. the understanding of suffering, its causes and remedies, is the central tenant of this path. and the path to get there for Siddhartha? well, for starters, he walked away from a life of total non-hurting, and total avoidance of pain. that was the beginning, for him, not the end!

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism#Suffering.27s_causes_and_solution

    TIAA – thank you, again. I had never seen that quote from Buber, and its going to be a good one for lots and lots of thought.

  • This essay is good, but Daniel did it better. We shouldn’t be dismayed by these stats, the same thing happens whenever times get tough for humans, whether financially, physically or mentally. The rates will climb, and that is a good thing, IMHO.

    “Hey, when you die, can I have your car/wife/house/chainsaw/guns?”

    I can already hear the shuffling of stuff from one person to another.

    Thanks to those in the former thread who liked my tomato story. I trim the tomatoes every year about this time. Tomatoes are perennial plants and would keep growing until they freeze unless you convince them otherwise and I don’t like having to deal with a bazillion green tomatoes. So trim the growing ends and keep them trimmed. The plants will use their remaining strength to ripen the rest of the fruit that has already set. I do it now because I live in Canuckistan and the temp was 10 degrees C last night. I have to convince these plants that that was no fluke. Toughen up, kids – it gets worse.

    Each of us will find our own ending point, either naturally or by choice. Talking about it here is a Good Thing ™ to do to while watching and waiting. I want to stick around a bit longer and see if there is a “teaching moment” for some people who might finally become willing to listen to me. I want this because I’m really a teacher at heart, and I have a lot of important and useful information I could pass on, but no one wants it right now. Maybe that will change.

  • Overshoot is axiomatic. Unless human populations are severely pruned back -at least by total consumption- there is no chance of human survival no matter what else occurs climatically or via nuclear folly. Suicide is certainly one ‘soft’ means of cutting environmental impact – just get the poor miserable proles to kill themselves, thus leaving the spoils for luxurious wealthy patrons. It is ostensibly less immoral, certainly less obvious, much neater, and much, much cheaper than outright mass murder. Dupe them into their own demise. A perfect ‘solution’ for the elite, who hope to surf over all the madness and death safely protected in their comfortable shells. Conditions will, by their own gravity and a little push from above, get so bad that prole suicide will be portrayed as an ‘honorable’ thing to do. But that would be a betrayal.

    Let’s consider another option: Since the total environmental pressure is the product of population times resource use… Cutting resource use from the top down would at some point equal a cut by self slaughter from the bottom up. In fact it would entail fewer deaths.

    To play that old tune one more time: 5% of the population is using 25% of the resources. So, to cut 25% of the resources, we could drive the top 5% of the population to commit suicide, or approximately 25% at the bottom, and get more or less the same results ecologically, with fewer deaths. If the top were prohibited from excess consumption a ~20% cut could occur without the suicide. But if we took their toys and privileges away, the spoiled brats would probably kill themselves anyway.

    As many have said, we live in a hierarchical Death Culture run by greedy manipulative psychopaths. Their powers extend into cultural ideation and mass mind control. I say “Don’t let them eat cake.” And leave a few crumbs for the rest of us.

    Driving poor people to suicide to preserve the rich is obscene. Especially if we ignore extinction by climate change and/or radiation.

    At some point rapid individual suicide will be a less painful option than slower mass suicide. But not to cater to the rich, to give them a temporary reprieve. That is grossly unacceptable.

  • @infanttyrone, I want to thank you for, Last Words of Hassan Sabbah! It was new to me, a real treat.

    Somber performance art, you’ll find it on the boardwalk at the Beach of Doom.

    Suicide. When things get that bad, it should be easy.

  • Been there, done that.

    @Daniel I know you’ve probably read this, but I had to laugh at this tidbit:

    “If you are in need of an ultimate mind-fuck, there is a long essay on McPherson’s site entitled “The Irreconcilable Acceptance of Near Term Extinction” written by a lifelong environmental activist named Daniel Drumright. He writes about trying to come to terms with what it means to be on a clear path toward extinction now that it’s probably too late to do anything about it (hint: suicide or shrooms). As Drumright points out, the entirety of human philosophy, religion, and politics doesn’t really provide a framework for processing the psychological terror of all of humanity not existing in the near future.”

    Please pass the ‘shrooms.

  • @ TIAA

    Thanks.

    He’s the Ground of Being guy, no ?

    I have read a book by him long ago, I’ve forgotten.

    You know, some people go looking for God, or for something like their idea of God, as if there was a place or a locality… but if there’s nowhere where God isn’t then how do we avoid God ? That’s what I want to know. Where can I hide ? 😉

  • People want to immerse themselves in technology, to distance themselves from life and the reality of their dirty organic existence and thereby distance themselves from suffering and death. They destroy the organic world which they resent and despise and prefer death to the stenches that reality sometimes offers. They’re all trying to get to the technological wonderland but have ended up facilitating the growth of a technological cancer that will dominate and then eliminate their lives. What remains but the spectacle of the downfall of human civilization on our mote of dust floating in space? Tumorous cancer has arisen on this planet before, its growth visible from space. It never tapped into the nourishment it needed to persist en masse for a prolonged period of time, but things have changed, the cancer has gone metastatic with tools to metabolize fossil fuels. The return you anticipate on your investments in cancer infrastructure will not be the pleasing aroma of jasmine in the garden but rather a whiff of putrescine and cadaverine accompanying the deterioration of the organic body you rejected. Ecocide is suicide.

  • Lidia – sounds like an ordeal. My dad did chemo and it nearly killed him. It’s brutal. I hope you have people nearby? Some help and support?

    Erin – I read every word you write. I’m interested in anything you have to say. Maybe an essay? Or podcasts of doom? Whatever…….but please keep teaching, if only in your comments.

    Mo flow – your tone in response to Gail is offensive. She has every right to her opinion, and it was directly on topic. Just as you have your conversations with TIAA and other believers here, there are those of us who scroll past to other comments of more relevance to us. I saw nothing hurtful in her post, but your response was uncivil at best. Please be polite.

    Gary – thanks for the essay. I’ve always considered suicide to be a reasonable choice in many circumstances.

  • Erin – “We shouldn’t be dismayed by these stats, the same thing happens whenever times get tough for humans, whether financially, physically or mentally. The rates will climb, and that is a good thing, IMHO.”

    hey maybe thrill kill murders are also a good thing, and we can all celebrate as the rate of this climbs as well. after all, it’s just another route to getting that blasted overshoot under control, no?

    god flipping damn. i hope I never get so caught up in my NTE awareness that I can allow myself to start talking this way, even if it is to relieve my own overwhelming pain. i know this kind of intellectual approach Erin is talking about is overstatement for effect (or at least I hope it is, otherwise this confirms pretty much the worst there is to say about humanity, and good riddance to that indeed) but seriously, can maybe we think just a little bit more about what we are saying? I don’t know, maybe this really is genuine, and I am missing some necessary insight to really appreciate it.

    alright, a show of hands for anyone here who has talked a total stranger down from the proverbial ledge? I think there could be others here besides me, because this is such a diverse crowd. I would be curious.

    how about answering a phone at 3am on a Sunday morning, and hearing endless minutes of agonizing silence on the other end – the silence that you know is coming from a human being that has potentially lost all hope, is near to drowning in internal agony, and you are not sure if you are going to actually hear a word first, or if you are going to hear a gunshot?

    and when the first words finally do come, they are so black with fear and loss and pain, so strangled, and so out of control, that something inside you just dies when you hear them.

    the next stop after me, if i couldn’t help in that moment, could either be an emergency room, an ambulance, or the morgue. do you think for a moment I thought for even a second, “hey, if you want to help take down the population problem…”

    I was doing this when I was 18, and I was good at it, but the pain and potential for death was so real, and my own understandings were yet so raw, that I couldn’t go on with helping that way, at that time.

    really, if anyone here has already become so calloused that this discussion is just “been there, done that” well, that truly infuriates me, and I think your soul needs help. get out from behind your own pain, as overwhelming as that may be right now, and know you are better than even thinking that ending human life, for any reason, at any time, could ever be anything less than the most agonizing choice imaginable.

    for some, they have found a way to make the final choice a celebration of their own life, and their own final expression of being in control, and this I applaud. they have found this themselves, and that is enough for me to know.

    wildwoman – sorry, I’m not backing down on this one. bigotry, whether intellectual bigotry based on personal belief, or bigotry based skin color, pretty much feels exactly the same to me.

    This is what Gail said:

    “That’s a very succint description of why humans prefer the myth of a larger “purpose” to the universe – and that unlike the physical self their “consciousness” will continue. It hurts less. It is the avoidance of pain. It invents “meaning” and promises immortality, conquering the fear of death and oblivion.”

    I am sorry, but i see nothing here that rings even remotely true, even in a small way. Gail has done a survey of the internal states of all the believing masses, and she knows they are all avoiding pain and conquering the fear of death by thinking of immortality and inventing meaning about the universe?

    pure, unadulterated BS. she is of course welcome to such forms of bigotry, as are we all, free country and all that. I would no sooner make sweeping generalizations like this about people of faith/myth/meaning any more than I would about people of color, it is as simple as that. maybe that doesn’t make sense to you though, and I can see how it wouldn’t. fair enough.

    for me, this is just the same kind of sweeping non-sensical generalization about any other group that makes exactly no sense, other than to make the speaker of such things feel better about their own chosen biases. I take it one unique human being at a time. there is no other way that can possibly be true.

  • @mo flow –

    Please give God his job back – his unemployment benefits are about to expire.

    The Accountant

  • @ mo flow and other like minds. I think You’ll enjoy this. I certainly do.

  • Bob S. – YOU are The Accountant? oh christ, I am in some serious trouble!! OK, I will do whatever you say.

    back to my zen. guilty as charged.

  • Gary Stamper says: The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.

    Gail says: That’s a very succint description of why humans prefer the myth of a larger “purpose” to the universe – and that unlike the physical self their “consciousness” will continue. It hurts less. It is the avoidance of pain. It invents “meaning” and promises immortality, conquering the fear of death and oblivion.

    mo flow says: Gail….you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Consciousness as Primary

    Fantasy thinking distracts
    From checking by physical acts:
    With thought nonchalant,
    Believe what you want,
    Without being tethered to facts.

  • Healthy human development is almost nonexistent on Earth at this time. The primary condition necessary for such development has not been present in the long history of our evolution. That condition is a stable cultural milieu where the primary focus is on the inculcation and sharing of real love among all members of society. The lack of this essential basis of real health has given rise to a bewildering variety of pathologies which are mental, emotional, and social. As a result humankind finds itself on the brink of self extinction. Our failure to love has produced a terminal illness that poisons every possibility of true cooperation and sanity. The hallmark of our diseased condition is a state of perpetual WAR that has raged with only minor pauses to recuperate for as long as our history can chronicle.
    This alone should tell us that we are seriously, violently insane. One of the most telling characteristics of our mutual madness is that we are in deep denial that we have this fatal problem. The number of alibis and delusions we use to avoid the unpleasant truth is legion. The truth however is that until we face our tragic flaw in all its frightening and depressing reality, we will be doomed to enact this self created nightmare to its gruesome conclusion. The Cassandra complex describes the suffering of those few who clearly perceive our basic problem, but are powerless to awaken their fellow humans from their trance of denial, and are instead labeled as insane or worse by their deluded fellows. Robinson Jeffers’ poem draws a dark picture of our plight:

    Rearmament
    These grand and fatal movements toward death: the grandeur
    of the mass
    Makes pity a fool, the tearing pity
    For the atoms of the mass, the persons, the victims, makes it
    seem monstrous
    To admire the tragic beauty they build.
    It is beautiful as a river flowing or a slowly gathering
    Glacier on a high mountain rock-face,
    Bound to plow down a forest, or as frost in November,
    The gold and flaming death-dance for leaves,
    Or a girl in the night of her spent maidenhood, bleeding and
    kissing.
    I would burn my right hand in a slow fire
    To change the future … I should do foolishly. The beauty
    of modern
    Man is not in the persons but in the
    Disastrous rhythm, the heavy and mobile masses, the dance of the
    Dream-led masses down the dark mountain.

  • @logspirit

    Man that comment was friggin great!

    Trimming tomatoes? Seems like a great way to spread pathogens from plant to plant unless you sterilize your trimmers after each cut. 😉
    Perhaps a little too much available Nitrogen as well.

    Redhaven peaches. Man that’s like a little Nirvana. The only spray the fruit trees ever received was a one time predominately fungal brew of actively aerated compost tea applied the to entire tree, trunk, bark, limbs, buds etc. A subsequent and generous application of well degraded compost at the base of the trees about three feet out from the from the trunk when the trees are in flower. Additional mulch of mixed hardwood wood chips two to three inches thick on top of the compost and did the earthworms ever go to work on that!!! Like an organic fertilizer factory and the trees loved it. Of course most trees have a flare at their base so don’t cover the flare of the trunk with compost or wood chips by raising the grade thus negatively impacting necessary plant processes.


    Thanks again to contributors at NBL.

    JOHN LENNON Watching the Wheels

  • Datta,

    Rumi would agree with you that the purpose of life is to eliminate the barriers between the I and the Not-I. As an Islamic mystic, a Sufi, he believed in the concepts of fana and baqaa, the annihilation of the self in God and the total subsistence in God, respectively. This is somewhat similar to the concepts of moksha and nirvana in the Vedic religions.

  • @ mo flow
    re: ”one quick thought. what is really abstract? what is materialism? look into quantum theory, … and you will find abstraction”

    DISCLAIMER In case of contradictions:
    ”Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.” Walt Whitman

    Deary, deary me. What a question. I meant philosophical abstraction. The big questions (delusions?) like “Love” and “Truth” and “Beauty” and the nature of Consciousness (are we?) and Awareness (cosmic and otherwise) and these kind of things I cannot pin down, don’t really understand and everyone seems to have a different, and to me, incomprehensible answer to. Ask 100 people who claim to be “spiritual” (other than those found in bottles, Robin Ha ha ha) and you will probably get 127 different answers. This is the mind set I am coming from:

    I was raised United Church – pretty loosy-goosy – and it was my Mom’s thing, mostly for the gossip, and she was slack about it. I could hardly believe that shit by puberty anyway & had quit Sunday School by then. My father didn’t care – he was some kind of magical Kabbilarian oculist late of the Freemasons and maybe 5 or 10 years in South America as a young man when he ran away from the farm in his late teens doing only he knows what; running guns, drinking Ayahuasca, leading a revolution, eating mushrooms … who knows, he never talked about it. I grew up with him doing numerology of some kind to determine auspicious dates, name the purebred horses he had as a side-line, analyze the character of others, whatever you could think to apply benign magic to – he was never malicious AFAIK.

    The farm was prosperous enough that we had books and there was a kind of visiting library which augmented the town school I attended. I was a voracious reader and my extra-curricular education was that of a free range chicken – I swallowed everything I could get my beak on. So ghosts, UFOs, phenomenology – raining frogs, spontaneous human combustion, cryptozoology – mysterious disappearances, hard science fiction; all that cheesy Fortean mental junk food was available then as it is now. By the time I was in middle school I was reading my older sister’s University texts when she came home on weekends and vacations. I’m not sure how well I understood them but I remember her quizzing me and looking satisfied. I’m not sure if she was amused at my pretension or amazed at my comprehension. She never did say. (All the crazy nasty shit I alluded to in my previous post on love didn’t start until we were all grown up and fighting over parental care and the estate and that kind of thing)

    By the time I was in High School I would go into town and visit her (nice to get away from home as an adolescent) and she her housemates taught me how to handle Cannabis and gave me the Tao Te Ching, now outdated popular cosmology books (Guy Murchie blew my tiny little mind) and a lot of stuff I can hardly remember now. And they talked and talked and I listened and listened. I ran away from home when I finished High School too, alternating bumming around, working a bit, some University here and there.

    One summer I was contemplating another stint at Uni and I met a math professor in the mountains hiking one day. We started chatting and I ended up sharing a flat with him for two semesters. He did some kind of multidimensional spaces thing; only him and about 7 guys in the world could talk to each other about it and he learned several additional languages so he actually could talk to these guys. We remained friends and I remember later when that Fritjof Capra book came out and The Dancing Wu-lei Masters him and I getting blasted on gin and schnapps and talking about that and him getting excited and the next thing waking up off the floor in his office of his new home with the chalkboard covered with equations and him looking down at me saying “Ja, we did some good werk last night.”

    This happened more than once and I have NO idea what went on (drunk); I just remember a lot of rapid talk, a lot of booze and a lot of Greek. He was classically educated Swiss and he recited long poems in Ancient Greek at the top of his lungs as he scribbled his arcane symbols almost too drunk to stand (but he couldn’t speak a word of Greek, ancient or otherwise, when he was sober … don’t ask me and don’t jump in to explain it – see below). He always claimed I had been helpful. But he never did explain how. Perhaps I was a Muse. Who knows. Don’t try to explain it; I can’t; he never did (see the very bottom … wait for it) Then he went out and got himself crushed in an ice fall while winter mountaineering. I wept. I must have been in my early twenties.

    Long story short, I went home, helped run the farm, married, no kids, she died, parents died, sold some of the land when folks died, paid off sister, retired with a few pigs, dogs, chickens, a bat-shit crazy goat (but I like the milk). The point here is I learned a bit about logic and science and scientific method and critical thinking and apparently I had some insight into some fucked-up higher order math when I was plastered. Can barely balance my cheque-book otherwise.

    So I’ve watched the Brian Greene NOVA specials and read a couple of his books and a bunch of other shit on physics and math and whatever. I’ve tried to keep abreast of science developments. I have a book on Dark Energy and one on Dark Matter on order and fucked if I know the difference between Super Symmetry and M-Theory. I get that particles are waves and waves are particles and matter is collapsed probability functions or something like that … or maybe I don’t get it. All this seems pretty real to me; without Quantum Nonsense we wouldn’t have integrated circuits and laser beams and atomic energy and fibre optics … I guess. Like Sheldon Cooper says: “I can’t see sub-atomic particles but I know they’re there.” But here is what a few people WAY smarter than I am have to say on the subject:

    Quantum mechanics is magic. Daniel Greenberger.
    Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real. Niels Bohr.
    Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it. Niels Bohr.
    If you are not completely confused by quantum mechanics, you do not understand it. John Wheeler.
    It is safe to say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. Richard Feynman.
    If [quantum theory] is correct, it signifies the end of physics as a science. Albert Einstein.
    I do not like [quantum mechanics], and I am sorry I ever had anything to do with it. Erwin Schrödinger.
    Quantum mechanics makes absolutely no sense. Roger Penrose.

    So if anyone here claims an understanding of Q Mechanics or M-theory or Super Symmetry, I call bullshit.

    The main thing I mean by “material reductionist” is I need evidence. Yammer without substance doesn’t interest me. As I said in a previous post, lights in the sky don’t count. But if a saucer shaped craft slowly and silently drifted down from the sky and landed in my yard and the ramp lowered and a praying mantis shaped green alien ushered Jesus Christ riding a Unicorn led by Sasquatch off the ship then I guarantee I would look into the matter. First I would make sure I hadn’t been drinking, try to remember how many joints I had smoked that day, whether I’d been into the laudanum or not and if it was mushroom season … then I’d get me some samples. I’d stick my hand in Christ’s abdominal wound (Doubting Thomas), I’d try to yank the horn off that white horse without being gored, I’d grab that Big Foot by the fur and ride him around the farm for a bit to make sure it wasn’t some asshole in a gorilla suit and then I’d punch the fucking alien in the mandible for crushing my favourite pig. By then my yard would be full of my neighbours’ pick-up trucks and they’d probably have their wrenches out trying to figure out how the “gul durn thang works.”

    I’m not closed minded; I just need my evidence. And like I said, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. If you can show me replicable through time and space, objective, empirical (people can more or less agree on what they see – something to do with the scientific method) evidence of leprechauns I doubt I’d invite one over for supper but if it turned out they were living behind the hay shed, I’d certainly pay my respect.

    In closing: After I’d read one of those early popularizations on QM in my early 20s, I went to the mountains with a couple of Uni buddies for a little spot of LSD. Somehow we thought we had one hit each but apparently they were intended to be quartered. At one point we found three huge spruce trees in a tidy, perfect little row as if they had been waiting for us to slump down against them and rest as our neurons went wild. There must have been something about Wheeler’s quantum foam because as I gazed around the landscape, in the far, far distance a slow Dyson Sphere of foam was closing in from all around. The entirety of reality – stars, sun, mountains, trees, river, beaver pond, earth – was all dissolving into foam. I sat there in slack-jawed wonderment until all that was left of reality was a bubble around me and my friends maybe 15 feet in diameter. No worries, no fear, nothing but wonderment and just then the fellow to my right said “Okay, Than, that’s enough” and in a blink reality returned.

    I don’t know what happened there. I’ve never been able to figure it out. My buddy and I have turned this experience inside-out many times. I swear I wasn’t narrating and he swears he heard me say nothing. He wasn’t seeing foam and he just said what he said.

    At this point people are probably going to chorus in with “non-locality,” the basic unity of all things, all things are one, blah, blah, blah. To me it was a mystery and it is still a mystery and likely always will be a mystery. I’m not going to jump to any conclusions or accept anyone else’s interpretation or have anything superimposed on that. I don’t know what happened and neither does anyone else. Full Stop. End of Story. The Mystery Remains.

    Was it just the acid or did I stare into the face of the Quantum God. Who knows? Who cares? Why does it matter? Even if we were not facing extinction, I would still want to relax in the idea (especially at my age having reached no firm conclusions about much of anything) that Life Is A Mystery To Be Experienced, Not A Problem To Be Solved. Terrence McKenna.

    And remember: As the radius of our sphere of knowledge – personal, scientific or otherwise – increases, the surface area of our ignorance expands by the function of the square.

    Next post I think I’ll talk about Death.

  • Yesterday, the organizer of the local art tour offered to photograph an art piece of mine for the tour website. She has seemed a little short and put out about in a previous email.

    But having a digital camera that immediately zaps any new or used battery that operates it, beside numerous other camera/computer inadequacies, I couldn’t refuse her help. For my own practical good, as well as to effect the kind of “balance” I’m told the universe prefers, I decided to gift her some veggies from the garden. Not a whole lot, just what felt right to me. She appreciated my sincere, if profuse, thanks in addition to the gift (for which she later emailed thanks).

    Most of all, I realized how the aggregation of little resolutions, faltering steps based on conscience and intuition laced with self doubt, resolutions to press on with my tiny, seemingly very inadequate garden, doing it in my iconoclastic way, avoiding “study” and expertise but doing it anyway as best I could, had led to a surprising feeling of solid wellbeing. My garden wasn’t that bad. Pressing on through drought, ignorance, toting my kitchen water to serve it, the ritual, persevering in cold or when out of sorts, overcoming lazy vibes–all this had led to something worthwhile that I could share and feel honorable about. The garden seems to be just as much an expression of me as is art (which, despite major training, I do “shabbily” and iconoclastically too, as if I would be an anti-artist).

    @ logspirit

    Thanks for your words. My antennae must be pointed your way today. And I couldn’t describe, without being shmarmy, my appreciation for such a sharp and elegant mind. Like words from the big brother I never had…

  • Do you want to know one of the reasons why NBL is such a refuge for so many of us, because: “according to Gallup, more than 9 in 10 Americans say “yes” when asked the basic question “Do you believe in God?”

    @ Gail, Wildwoman, Erin and B the D

    As per usual….+1

  • ‘In the U.S., the rate of death by suicide increased by 15 percent over the past ten years.’

    big deal (as in, so what?), mr. stamper.

    ‘In Greece, the suicide rate for men rose by 24 percent between 2007 and 2009, according to The New York Times, and by another 40 percent in 2012. Suicides motivated by economic crisis grew by 52 percent in Italy in 2010, the most recent year for which statistics were available. What we do know is that researchers say the trend is intensifying at alarming rates wherever austerity measures have taken place and as the economic downturn continues to worsen.’

    now, THAT’S interestin’. now u’re cookin’! i see where this is going. kind of where everything’s goin’ nowadays, ‘to hell’. lots of hardship and despair and desperation. exponential increases. not so bad initially in places like amerikkka where ‘tptb’ along with legions of ‘followers’ are willing to ‘go that extra mile’ with shit like mountain top removal, fracking, deep sea drilling, facilitating and promoting ‘free enterprise’ at home and globally, to keep the party going til the bitter end. fuck the environment, hippies, liberals; we need a growing economy! (sorry for ramble… thanks for pointing out these sobering stats/trends, gary.)

    ‘“The levels of depression, suicides, drug abuse, alcoholism, and violence among men are all rising exponentially to the point of being staggering and frightening. Ninety-four percent of all inmates are male. Men live an average of seven years fewer than women, suffer far more from ulcers and stress-related disease than women, and are more likely than women to die from the fifteen leading causes of death.”

    hmmmm, maybe ‘privileged’ social status isn’t so great after all!

    ‘A very brief way of describing this is that if planetary temperatures were to hit or exceed 4˚C above the norms, we could not survive.’

    i don’t know about that.

    ‘take a look at if there might be scenarios where taking one’s life actually is the best choice.’

    a well timed suicide can provide deliverance from a hellish future.

    great essay, stamper. no doubt it shall provoke some vigorous discussion (it already has!). well done. thanks to guy for nbl, forum of great, bold, taboo ideas/knowledge.

    ‘(suicide) A moral and ethical act: Somehow I don’t think God would object.’

    great closing statement!

    now on to the comment section:

    ‘Anyone who does not consider suicide or homicide seriously most likely has something wrong with them anyway.’- grant schrieber

    big smile! wry chuckle.

    ‘With NTE thrown into the mix, suicide can be an altruistic act — destroying oneself in order to stretch the food supplies or whatever. As NTE and collapse become more obvious, suicide will move in the social framework from acts of desperation and despair to an acts of nobility and pride. The stigma against suicide is a religious instead of rational belief. As everything falls apart, and prayers don’t bring the rain or stop the floods or help with finding food for baby, suicide will become the leading cause of death worldwide. In some areas, suicide will be mandatory for those deemed unworthy. No one will care. Fine details will be gone and it will be all bold print living.’ -more from grant.

    astonishingly bold, blunt, and well said!

    ‘Society cannot replace the very personal structure removed by dismantling community.’ -r. datta

    sad but true. we do the best we can to get by in a lonesome life.

    gail, glad to see u’re back posting!

  • Thanks to Gary Stamper for trying to cheer us up, but as someone already said, these stats leave out the bad news, and that is that the number of people dying in car crashes has gone way down due to safer vehicles. For suicide to really have the impact we need, Jonestown style mass suicides must occur, hopefully on an hourly basis, at least. So, maybe we should be encouraging the formation of as many bizarre religious cults as we can. We should also be trying to stir up as much religious hatred as we can between the various and endless number of kook religions. Which lead us to our best hope: war. War, if done correctly, is one of the best ways to reduce population and industrial activity. It’s the officially approved collective suicide for humans. Maybe the best tactics of any kind of green resistance, the most radical and most effective things we can do, are just to encourage these traditional forms of mass stupidity and violence. We should be beating the drums of war, hopefully nuclear war. Israel lusts for war with Iran, so that’s one good sign, they’ve got nukes too, even better. Instead of trying to take out one of the thousands of dams, maybe we should be making videos posing as religious fanatics denigrating the religions of both Israel and Iran and sending them to each country. Then we can sit back as watch as vital oil infrastructure goes up in flames throughout the Middle East, and the industrial economy collapses. Wow, I feel much better, life now has a purpose.

  • @Ripley
    re: “encourage these traditional forms of mass stupidity and violence”

    I’m pretty sure you are being sarcastic or facetious or something but I’ll take that at face value and suggest none of this at all needs to be encouraged – it will reach maximum killing efficiency all by itself until the “blood runs as high as a horse’s halter.” We have always been very efficient at killing anything in our path including each other; I don’t think we have to worry our blood-thirstiness will wane as deprivation, starvation, climate migration and all the weirdness generates food riots, resource wars and border closures all around the world.

    For goodness sakes, 800,000 people were hacked to death with machetes in a few months in Rwanda a couple of decades ago … whenever the hell that was. That was with hand tools, by gosh – staring your victims right in the eye as their blood splashes back in your face.

    You don’t need to encourage anything; just contemplate what you are going to do with your last days and imagine what is will be like when you, your friends, your family, your children are set upon by berserkers with iron bars and dull blades.

    It is one thing to be aware of these topics and another thing entirely to talk as if you can hardly wait for it to be televised. Compassion – the ability to “suffer with” or co-suffering – might want to be the topic of the next guest essay. Anyone?

    I know it is going to be horrible but I am surely not going to delight in it.

  • @Friedrich Kling
    Maybe I didn’t express myself well in a comment on the previous thread.
    I am not in any way a UFO-denialist.
    I haven’t seen a big one hovering over a neighborhood 5 blocks away, but a friend whose common sense I trust did see just such a thing a few decades ago.
    I have watched a few hours of The Disclosure Project.
    I take the FAA & military witnesses at face value.
    I know that Leary mentioned Carol Rosin (sp?) in one of his books (The Intelligence Agents, as I recall) and that she claims to have been present at his death.
    I am familiar with Burroughs’ ideas about ESP.
    I have experienced simple telepathy under controlled, non-drug-state conditions.
    I wasn’t in the meeting where we were supposed to get the secret code word & handshake because I was busy talking R.A. Wilson back into believing that there really were some functional conspiracies left…he kept muttering something about Chapel Perilous and Pynchon’s idea of anti-paranoia, but I got him back on track (not Burroughs’ Track News Agency, where “we don’t report the news…we write it”).
    If you need further credentials, I’ll have to send you my Paypal account info and you’ll have to pony up some soon-to-be-worthless fiat currency.

    @Thanatos Sunbum
    Just FYI, a Dyson Sphere is large enough to essentially encapsulate a sun and capture most of its energy. I doubt you encountered one in the woods, even with the help of 4X the RDA of LSD. But maybe it was a *really small sun*, the kind that McKenna’s itsy-bitsy jeweled creatures use to catch a few rays. Just sayin’.

    @BadlandsAK
    1) I found a spiffy hazmat wetsuit to help keep clean on my swim back to Costa Rica…thanks for the advice a few threads ago…in case your contacts at TSA notice someone who looks an awful lot like me getting on a Southbound plane in a month or so, feel free to let them know that it’s probably my evil twin brother Cooper (as in CO2-per cubic whatever volumetric measure).
    2) If shrooms are costly or in short suply, there’s always Salvia Divinorum. Its effect is similar to DMT, at least according to Terrence McKenna. I had some shipped to me last time I was here in Austin and carried it to Costa Rica without incident. Haven’t tried it yet so I can’t vouch for McKenna’s recommendation (my wife died a little over a year ago and it hasn’t seemed like quite the right time to visit Terry’s Kids yet), but he was so spot-on regarding so many entheogens that it’s hard to imagine he’s be very far wrong.

  • @BadlandsAK
    Sorry, something twitched my system and posted prematurely.
    Hope your young’uns are doing as well as can be expected with the allergies.
    I might be traveling from TX to CA sometime soon.
    Let me know if there is anything I might pick up at a pharmacy in Mexico for you.
    I had some allergies & asthma as a kid and a few more desperate times later in life, so I’m especially sensitive to your/their predicament (if there’s no likely solution, at least per Guy’s terminology, then it ain’t a problem…it’s a predicament).
    I’m assuming Guy would pass my email to you if you asked…permission granted, if he needs a formal head-nod.

    @Friedrich Kling
    Re Burroughs again, indirectly, here’s Laurie Anderson’s early take on the human meat robot’s sensitivity to topological conditions…

    @whomever, especially Rob, who abides for the fires of Nero and the redeployent of the guillotine

    From “I, Claudius”
    Let All the Poisons That Lurk in the Mud, Hatch Out

  • Artleads

    You know, gardening, in the kind of private, small scale situation you report – listening to your plants, intuiting needs and picking up tips and testing them out on your garden – these ways have come down to us and have been known in other, older times as Alchemy, turning the base material into gold. The whole process you describe is a great cycle of being in the flow of creating your own self/garden, with your instincts setting the energy and dynamics going.
    And even with the little you say you grow, you can give some as a personal gift to others.
    Little things still show we are all human and can be grounded in service of others, even in a crazifying-by-the-minute-Fuku-world.
    Bravo!

    ‘Revealed: 80cm sea rise warning’

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/revealed-80cm-sea-rise-warning-20130819-2s7dt.html

    I just love gross, gross under-reporting!

    “….The (Australian Federal) Climate Change Minister, Mark Butler, said the Labour policy was producing results, including a 7 per cent cut in emissions from the National Electricity Market and a 25 per cent increase in renewable energy generation in the past year….” he said.”(my Parentheses)

    Oh dear, oh dear, how the mushrooms keep mushrooming on. Nowhere in the brief article, does it investigate what 5 degrees will do to the plants as Guy has repeatedly said, nor ocean derived oxygen generation…cough cough!
    Plant a tomato in the heart of a child you love, and I bet you will care much more what 5 degrees does to plants, and it amounts to the same thing anyway.

  • @ mo flow

    I’ve done that gig a few times. I know where you’re at. Mine was the only house in the whole fucking town where people knew there was someone they could wake up at 3 a.m. to tell him they were going to kill themselves, and that someone was crazy enough to get out of bed and let them in and listen to them for as long as it took…. just because that someone knew what it was like to feel that bad…

    I ended up doing it like washing the dishes. Something to do. Stupid people breaking into my house with guns in the middle of the night looking for somebody they wanted to kill who owed them money, so I’d make them a cup of tea…

    There’s a lot of different angles on this suicide thing. It’s a good idea to look at it a lot of different ways, and think about the poor bastard who has to clear up the mess.

    One person got over it, sorted everything out, started a new life, everything bright and cheery, as a college student, first week, died from carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty gas heater the landlord should have had fixed. My wife’s cousin. She was really beautiful. I’d spent six weeks giving her good reasons to stay alive. I couldn’t even think of any good reasons to stay alive myself.

    Now it’s easy. Every minute is a good minute.

  • All anyone needs to “know” about the human condition is revealed in the following arithmetic…

    mike k @ August 21st, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    added to

    Daniel @ August 21st, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    plus

    Ripley @ August 21st, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    plus

    Thanatos Sunbum @ August 21st, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    plus

    this

    … results in the merely freaking obvious.

    It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society. – J. Krishnamurti

  • Daniel said, “Do you want to know one of the reasons why NBL is such a refuge for so many of us, because: “according to Gallup, more than 9 in 10 Americans say “yes” when asked the basic question “Do you believe in God?”

    We live in a country where the truth cannot be spoken without offending 90% of the people.

  • @ infanttyrone:

    Yes, the fires of Nero! that is what we deserve. that is what I’m waiting for.

    Americans are inherently suicidal – eating garbage, widespread obesity, alcohol & drugs (prescription and illegal) – it’s obvious to me. It is slow and expensive suicide.

    I know we can’t get 90% of the population to voluntaryily commit suicide AND help us dismantle the toxic infrastructure of industrial civilization, but maybe would could do something like the hunger games – everyone fights it out to the end – the end being when there are only 500,000 people left. As part of the preliminary stages, we could have “reward challenges” where groups dismantle individual pieces of the toxic infrastructure in exchange for things that will help them move on to the next stages (weapons, fuel, food, etc.) Maybe TPTB already have something in mind…

    I know it’s callous, but we all know something radical and callous and murderous HAS to be done and it WILL be done as we slide down into chaos.

    I don’t even have a blunt farm tool, but I could fashion a pointed stick pretty quickly.

  • Thanatos Sunburn: “just contemplate what you are going to do with your last days and imagine what is will be like when you, your friends, your family, your children are set upon by berserkers with iron bars and dull blades.”

    Glad I’m in a large American city. I suspect the roving mob of fiends will be part of the police force and I’ll be shot to pieces instead of beaten to death with a crow bar. But you never know. A sudden flash of radiation seems a lot more likely as increasingly bad decisions get made by people who who shouldn’t be trusted to mop floors happen to be in charge of the government.

    For example, over in Australia, they want to rip out over 750,000 fruit trees because they’ve gone to canned fruit and they don’t want a sudden insect boom from all the now unwanted fruit rotting away. On top of this, they want farmers to volunteer their time in removing the trees. No concern for the orchard growers now deemed useless, no thought of coming up with a different use for the fruit other than letting it rot, no money offered to help clean up the mess they have invented. Expect a rise in suicide in Victoria soon.

    Virgin Terry: Thanks for the kind words.

    Ulvfugl: I miss our rambling talks. If you’d like to continue them, try reaching me at cavesofchaos@hotmail.com. Of all the crazy Welshmen out there, you are by far the only one I know.

    NSA take note: I am openly dealing with a foreigner now. A Welshman lives in Wales which is part of England. No need to Google that, though now I suppose you’ll have to double check. (One has to help the NSA whenever you can, you know they’re overworked with all the terrorism going online though I am considering starting a new email called StateSecretsRevealed just to help with their overtime pay).

  • @infanntryone

    re @Thanatos Sunbum
    Just FYI, a Dyson Sphere is large enough to essentially encapsulate a sun and capture most of its energy. I doubt you encountered one in the woods, even with the help of 4X the RDA of LSD. But maybe it was a *really small sun*, the kind that McKenna’s itsy-bitsy jeweled creatures use to catch a few rays. Just sayin’.

    Thanks for latching on to the mangled metaphor (or was it a simile – time to pounce again). The image I was trying to invoke was that of being in the centre of a vast sphere which was filling with foam from the outside toward the centre. I used Dyson sphere to stay on the physics theme; I didn’t want to switch to Celestial Dome or something else – that is just what came to mind as I rambled away a bit fatigued before bedtime. No I did not see the self-dribbling jewelled machine elf basketball creatures of McKenna although I would certainly like to meet them someday.

    The real point of the story was my buddy knew something was going on with me which, if it had continued and I had become part of the foam may have led to a true psychological crisis of decompensation and he picked up on that without being directly aware of my experience in order to speak a simple sentence and break the spell. That there was an inexplicable instance of apparent “telepathy” between us and my unwillingness to just jump into the chasm and start believing in telepathy was also part of the point.

    SO, pre-emptively then, the sentence which reads ”but he couldn’t speak a word of Greek, ancient or otherwise, when he was sober … don’t ask me and don’t jump in to explain it – see below should read he couldn’t remember a word of Greek. He had to memorize all this Greek stuff when he was being educated but it only came back to him when he was drunk – just pointing out something a bit odd, that’s all. I’m beginning to feel sorry I spoke.

    So a new disclaimer:

    Do I mangle my metaphors? Very well, then I mangle my metaphors, I am inept and merely human, I mangle many things. Milt Mangleman

    I think the touchiness, sensitivity, prickliness, minor conflicts, spats – whatever it is – which so often arises in this comment section amongst people who seem to be loosely in agreement with each other regarding the central theme (something pretty catastrophic is going to happen with the biosphere pretty soon) is interesting microcosmic example of both what we are as a species and what is going on around the world.

    Many comments are made here regarding the lack of awareness of the problems of the world by the unwashed masses, how we cannot find many people in our lives with whom we can share these things, how so many seem to want to keep their heads in the sand, how so many seem to buy into the denial or the techno-hopium or whatever mechanism they can to avoid facing the issues.

    But it seems to me “they” are not as out-to-lunch as many here believe “them” to be (oh, there it it is again – the other…). At least the people around here aren’t. The may not be conversing in ppm of CO2 or ppb of CH4 or the effect of ground level ozone on tree immune systems or wet bulb temperatures and I never jump in with that but they sure as hell know something is wrong.

    They know mistakes were made with industrial agriculture; they know they aren’t as successful hunting or fishing as they used to be; they know species they grew up with have disappeared; they know the temperatures have changed and the winds have shifted and the weather patterns are wacky but they don’t know it in the same way those of us who yammer on so pompously in this comments section do.

    I know a couple of the social workers around here – one lives down the road and we get together fairly often to chat – and I have posed this notion of touchiness, because there is a lot of emotional strain floating around these days as reflected in the discussion of suicide rate above. They both figure people are aware of this stuff but subconsciously. They can’t articulate it, they don’t have the time to read about it and study it like the people on this blog do, they probably wouldn’t really understand it if they did and likely couldn’t process it emotionally if they did understand it. But both my social worker acquaintances, who are aware of these disastrous problems facing us (and they have no one to talk to either, except maybe me), see a huge undercurrent of fear and uncertainty and stress as people see things fall apart and change and die around them and don’t know how to process it intellectually or emotionally or how to express it if they could process it and who would listen anyway? Right? Isn’t that why so many are here – nowhere else to process this stuff?

    It breaks my heart these people are going to see their children starve or be killed or suicide because we have fucked things up so badly. As a species we may be murderously destructive but as individuals and in small groups there is much altruism, caring, sharing, supporting, commiserating and these people have hearts and minds and feelings and families and are in torment in their own ways, even if they are just proles.

    It is fine to say rising suicide rates are great and lets knock down the dam holding back the river of blood and 90% of our murderous little species must die but I don’t see anyone here leaping forth to volunteer to be the first to go. We are all in denial, even those here who are so well educated on these topics and who can go on at length anonymously in text. I say this because I doubt we could go on so glibly about such horrific topics if we could really feel the pain and horror of the situation. I know I have to shut my feelings off to face this stuff.

    after all

    I’m just a fucking prole, a mere pig farmer, shit on my shoes, dirty fingernails, don’t own a suit, wouldn’t want one, worked hard in the mud and the muck all my life.

    Just a fucking prole …

  • All hail Sunbum!
    Seriously, you said it all.

  • @mo flow really, if anyone here has already become so calloused that this discussion is just “been there, done that” well, that truly infuriates me, and I think your soul needs help. get out from behind your own pain, as overwhelming as that may be right now, and know you are better than even thinking that ending human life, for any reason, at any time, could ever be anything less than the most agonizing choice imaginable.

    Dear mo flow, I did say, “been there, done that”. Meaning suicide attempts. Obviously I have been an abject failure at most endeavors in my life, even suicide. And you are absolutely correct about it being a place of agony. One can be so overwhelmed by psychic pain, so distraught and full of despair, living becomes torture. And for some reason, for me, it wasn’t about myself, it was how fucked up the world is and all of the needless suffering.
    I used to make a lot of art, mostly on the topic of exploitation of animals and children, I used to drink and drink, I never slept, I fought depression after depression, I always put others before myself, I took on too much pain that wasn’t my own. Not a healthy way to live, but living wasn’t my first choice. So, in order to go on, I had to change everything. I had to stop giving my power away. I had to make myself so big and so powerful that I answer to no one but the universe itself.
    Of course, now I answer to the kids as well, so suicide isn’t just a personal choice. I would say that I would never do it, and I would implore others not to do it, but I can think of two scenarios where it would be a reasonable option for me. Sorry to have been offensive.

    @infanttyrone Thank you for the offer! I can’t think of anything we might need at this point, but I will keep it in mind. Glad you made it home safe, though you are probably glowing now!

  • The Rime of the Doomer Mariner

    STAGE 1
    IT is a Mariner of doom
    Who upon the Guest does presume;
    Wherefore stoppest thou me?
    In the hall—look and see—
    They’re marrying the Bride and the Groom!

    The Guest heard the loud bassoon,
    But was stuck with this grey-beard loon
    Whose glittering eye
    Made the Guest comply
    And listen, like some dumb maroon.

    The sweet life was coming along,
    Like a heavenly angel’s song,
    Or the sound of a flute;
    But it all became moot
    When I couldn’t deny what was wrong.

    STAGE 2
    An example of anger? I’ll try:
    Well, this one time, the shit went awry,
    And two hundred men,
    Time and again,
    Kept cursing me with their dead eye.

    STAGE 3
    Mariner, I fear thy eye,
    But I’ll bargain to think death’s a lie;
    Be calm, Wedding-Guest:
    This is not just a test,
    As you’ll see for yourself by and by.

    STAGE 4
    A weary time! How glazed each eye—
    Perhaps even wanting to die;
    Turning to drink,
    Or consulting a shrink,
    Or oftentimes wanting to cry.

    STAGE 5
    The moment that I could agree
    That it’s over, then I could see
    From a new point of view,
    And the place where I grew
    Hardly looked like mine own countree.

    There’s this funny thing I go through:
    I must tell some poor sucker doom’s true;
    When his face I see,
    I know who it will be,
    And this time the sucker was you.

    Having learned that the shit’s hit the fan,
    The Guest had to change his life’s plan;
    And he—stunned and forlorn—
    Rose the morrow morn
    A sadder and wiser man.

  • Gary Stamper you wrote Those of us who believe in “something greater” than ourselves may die more gracefully than those who don’t carry some sort of metaphysical awareness. Perhaps more importantly, it will be easier for us to find meaning in what time we have left largely because we tend to believe that there is purpose to the universe that is not only larger than we are, but that we are – even in our dying – part of that purpose. The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.
    Did you bother to check with any atheist before you wrote that. It reflects what you feel, ie a need for MEANING. Many of us here have realized we have to take down the capital letters and find meaning in each moment that we have left. I find meaning in taking care of my garden and chickens even though I believe humans are going extinct. In fact I have come to think it is a good thing that we are going extinct, but unfortunately not near term enough to save most other life on the planet.

    Many with religious beliefs feel strongly that suicide is a sin. Thus if they do take their own life they do so with a sense of great failure and expectation of judgement. For myself, no longer being a believer, I feel that there is an obligation to stick around as long as those who care about you and depend on you want to also stick around.

    If suicide pills were made available I am sure more would avail themselves of the sweet nothingness of death. I like sleep and hate waking. How could I fear endless sleep. Death is always are fate and even in normal times people die pretty miserably yet the option to quicken the end easily is withheld from most. However the book Final Exit by Derek Humphrey dose offer some easier ways to exit. Death in a time of extinction may for many actually be easier than it is now – having done years of nursing home volunteering, I can tell you that many die long, lingering, often lonely and painful deaths. Death by bullet in a time of chaos we might fear more, but in fact it might be easier.

    Utah Phillips wrote a song about suicide by morphine by miners and the deep shame they felt about carrying their tins of morphine into the mines BECAUSE they were religious. Yet even fear of damnation couldn’t prevent many from carrying this insurance
    story and song at:

    Any rate I think most atheists accept death more than religious people – I do. In fact I think that asserting that they wouldn’t reflects your own fear. What if there is no MEANING? Will it devastate you. I doesn’t devastate me…

  • Jeez, Gail’s comment has drawn a lot of fire, hasn’t she?

    Can’t you criticize her by saying you think she’s mistaken, then pointing out where you think she went wrong with her reasoning?

    No, it has to be, “she’s a bigot,” “she must not know what she’s talking about” (after you’ve done no investigation into her background), and in the reaction to Gail has been how Americans tend to think in general:

    “HOW DAAAAAAAAAAARE YOU SAAAAAAAAAY THAT! I’M NOT GOING TO MAKE ANY EFFORT AT ALL TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT WHETHER YOU’RE RIGHT OR WRONG, BUT HOW DAAAAAAAAAARE YOU EVEN SAAAAAAAAAY THAAAAAAAAAT!”

  • Japan’s nuclear crisis deepens, China expresses ‘shock’

    “(Reuters) – Japan’s nuclear crisis escalated to its worst level since a massive earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima plant more than two years ago, with the country’s nuclear watchdog saying it feared more storage tanks were leaking contaminated water.

    The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday it viewed the situation at Fukushima “seriously” and was ready to help if called upon, while nearby China said it was “shocked” to hear contaminated water was still leaking from the plant, and urged Japan to provide information “in a timely, thorough and accurate way”.

    “We hope the Japanese side can earnestly take effective steps to put an end to the negative impact of the after-effects of the Fukushima nuclear accident,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement faxed to Reuters in Beijing.

    Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga called the situation “deplorable”, and the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA) said it feared the disaster – the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl a quarter of a century earlier – was “in some respects” beyond the plant operator’s ability to cope.”

    More at above link.

  • I think the masses are becoming aware of us “doomers”, actually.

    But that might not be a good thing, since they’re trying to actively discredit us, rather than simply ignore us.

    Like this editorial at Cracked, for instance:

    http://www.cracked.com/blog/7-reasons-news-looks-worse-than-it-really-is/

    Take a look, see what you think.

  • OzMan,

    How perceptive you are! Thanks, man. It’s a mystery how, from the garden process (which started when?), a series of uplifting and unexpected events have ensued, your comment being the most recent. 🙂
    Best wishes to you.

  • @ Gary Stamper
    re: The spiritually inclined tend to believe that their consciousness – separate from their physical selves – will continue, where atheists and agnostics will likely have a deeper sense of loss.

    I’m going to pretty much agree with KathyCassandra here and go a bit farther. If I was easily offended I would find this statement exceedingly offensive. This is just more of the same holier-than-thou, you-are-evil-and-going-to-hell, I’m-better-than-you-are-because-I-believe-this-crazy-delusion BS I’ve been hearing my entire life. This is the same rampant arrogant Belief System (BS) which fuelled the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch Burnings, the Sectarian violence throughout the Middle East, countless wars and in-fighting and this BS has been going on for how long now? Millennia? I love it when religionists (or the living-in-a-bottle-inclined – I guess you have to live in a bottle to believe that malarkey) yap about their superior experience of the world then slaughter each other like dogs over differing interpretations of a line in their favourite bedtime fairy tale.

    That entire paragraph is just more religion-centrisim, arrogance. Like Kathy said, did you talk to an atheist, do you know an atheist. And atheist isn’t even a term I take on for myself or use, for that matter. It means to deny god which ass-you-mes there is a god to deny. Don’t put that on me. This is just another extraordinary claim. If you prove to me there is a god or a metaphysic to be aware of and I deny it then you can call me an atheist.

    I personally am an apatheist – I don’t give a shit. The question of god is unanswerable, the problem of god is unsolvable, I have a lot of trouble feeling comfortable in the presence of delusionals. This kind of discussion always makes me think of that joke in which god is like a police officer – where the hell is one when you need one.

    The thing I’ve noticed through my life is among the more “religious” or “spiritual” or who “believe” or who have the so-called “metaphysical awareness” (that’s a good one dripping with arrogance) … the more intense their belief and fervour, the more enormous their fear … that they didn’t do it right – they didn’t bow and spin and bend and grin the way they were supposed to and maybe their admission ticket won’t be valid.

    The rest of them seem to be wobbling around Pascal’s wager.

    Oh, and by the way which VERSION of your vaunted metaphysical awareness was that now?? The zombie rabbi or the guy on the flying white horse or maybe that black-skinned blood-drinking skull-necklace-wearing hot chick from India or is it the Skangbugalingana of the Wingatinga tribe? Or some newage sewage you picked up down at the crystals and magic store?

    All you are saying, Gary, is if you cling to a delusion (and a Gary approved one, at that – the metaphysical awareness thingy) you might find a little more comfort whistling in the dark. It is out of line for you to suggest the rest of us are not perfectly comfortable. I am.

    So I’ve blown my two-post wad on this nonsense; time to get on with some simpleton living.

  • mo flow,

    Your remarks are a fine source of encouragement and uplift for me. But I hope the following comment won’t alienate you, Gail or anyone else (fat chance, given my luck).

    I wouldn’t liken the thrust of Gail’s comments to racial bigotry (although I don’t think that’s what you were implying–even if it could be misconstrued that way). My guess is that Gail takes pride in her anti-racist self-identification, and tries unusually hard to walk her talk.

    Where I agree with you (and this isn’t pointed at Gail, but to a widely shared meme on NBL) is in pointing out the hideous suffering that is supported by throwing in the towel on HS in general. So whatever evil is seen can merely be attributed to the inherent evil and worthlessness of the species. In that case, no need to lift a finger to resist. The sooner HS comes crashing down the better.

    Suicide from depression, shame, hopelessness. Yeah, just go ahead and jump. Nothing to live for anyway. Trayvon Martin? It’s not a case of condoning Zimmerman, but rather proof of the inherent human beastliness. Trayvon is gone. Not our fault. We’ll all soon be gone anyway. Nothing to do about the reversal of civil rights, the march of the police state. It’s more of a case of I told you so.

    This is an area of discordance on NBL. Trying to alleviate suffering is seen as hopium and non-acceptance of NTE. But even if hopium might coexists neatly with helping people, it is ad hominem to attribute helping people to hopium. And, if you’re like me, who gives a rat’s ass if it’s hopium or not anyway?

  • The growing suicide rate seems to be tied to peoples’ inability to cope with the realization that they have been denied the false promises of the Capitalist utopia. It doesn’t appear that most of the self-extinguished had any awareness, or even cared, about the fact that the fantasies that psychologically funded their lives were destroying the bio-sphere, inflicting mass suffering on countless other life forms, and was predicated on third -world slave labor. If one’s self-identity is tied to the geo-cidal system of consumption, then the denial of its goodies would likely cause a deep sense that one’s “soul” was being eroded to the point of extinction. In abusive relationships, when the victim finally takes action against the abuser (e.g. calls the cops after a beating), and the abuser is exposed and deprived of his/her power, the abuser will often portray him/herself as the victim of the former abusee’s persecution. To the extent that the self-extinguisher is acting as the victim of a system that deprived them of their expectations (thus robbing them of their power), I think there is a similar dynamic in play.

  • Sorry, Artleads, I’m with the “HS deserve NTE” crowd. Yes, the children suffer, many, many, children have suffered at my hand – The dozens of pairs of Nike shoes I purchased caused much suffering. So, what’s the best thing I can do now?, now that I am aware? Well, for one, I stopped buying Nike shoes, or any shoes. I might be able to scavenge some used shoes when I need them, and that’s the best I can do. I’m not standing on the Capitol steps with a sign that says “I am the 1%” because, frankly, they are mostly wearing Nike shoes and driving cars from their air conditioned homes to and from the protest – my resistance is more complete than theirs, IMO. And, I’m not really into “degrees” of resistance – I’m just doing what I feel comfortable with. I am a refugee of Industrial Civilization.

  • time to dance!
    crank it up
    dance full screen
    dance to the end!

  • …and then, dance again!

  • and oh good lord, not again!

    Lord, have mercy on us.
    Christ, have mercy on us.
    Lord, have mercy on us.

    Day of wrath, day of anger
    will dissolve the world in ashes,
    as foretold by David and the Sibyl.
    Great trembling there will be
    when the Judge descends from heaven
    to examine all things closely.

    The trumpet will send its wondrous sound
    throughout earth’s sepulchres
    and gather all before the throne. 

    Death and nature will be astounded,
    when all creation rises again,
    to answer the judgement.
    A book will be brought forth,
    in which all will be written,
    by which the world will be judged. 

    When the judge takes his place,
    what is hidden will be revealed,
    nothing will remain unavenged.

    What shall a wretch like me say?
    Who shall intercede for me,
    when the just ones need mercy?

    King of tremendous majesty,
    who freely saves those worthy ones,
    save me, source of mercy.

    Remember, kind Jesus,
    my salvation caused your suffering;
    do not forsake me on that day. 
    Faint and weary you have sought me,
redeemed me, suffering on the cross;
may such great effort not be in vain. 
    Righteous judge of vengeance,
grant me the gift of absolution
before the day of retribution. 
    I moan as one who is guilty:
owning my shame with a red face;
suppliant before you, Lord. 
    You, who absolved Mary,
and listened to the thief,
give me hope also. 
    My prayers are unworthy,
but, good Lord, have mercy,
and rescue me from eternal fire. 
    Provide me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
guiding me to Your right hand.
    When the accused are confounded,
    and doomed to flames of woe,
    call me among the blessed. 
    I kneel with submissive heart,
my contrition is like ashes,
help me in my final condition.
    That day of tears and mourning,
    when from the ashes shall arise,
    all humanity to be judged.
    Spare us by your mercy, Lord,
    gentle Lord Jesus,
    grant them eternal rest. Amen.

    Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
    liberate the souls of the faithful,
    departed from the pains of hell
    and from the bottomless pit.
    Deliver them from the lion’s mouth,
    lest hell swallow them up,
    lest they fall into darkness. 

    Let the standard-bearer, holy Michael,
bring them into holy light. 
    Which was promised to Abraham
and his descendants.
    Sacrifices and prayers of praise, Lord,
    we offer to You.
    Receive them in behalf of those souls
    we commemorate today.
    And let them, Lord,
    pass from death to life,
    which was promised to Abraham
    and his descendants.

    Lamb of God, who takes away
    the sins of the world,
    grant them eternal rest.
    Lamb of God, who takes away
    the sins of the world,
    Grant them eternal rest.
    Lamb of God, who takes away
    the sins of the world,
    grant them eternal rest forever.

    Let eternal light shine on them, Lord,
    as with Your saints in eternity,
    because You are merciful.
    Grant them eternal rest, Lord,
    and let perpetual light shine on them,
    as with Your saints in eternity,
    because You are merciful.

  • @ Librarian
    August 22nd, 2013 at 8:51 am

    I could only stomach that drivel @ “cracked” up to the first, somewhat entertaining, video. I read a few more snippets sporadically to the end. A moment ago I called it “drivel” but, more appropriately, it is perhaps the most moronically inane drivel I have ever seen. It appears to be a hypocritical “celebration” of hypocrisy from an abjectly dim witted dimwit.

    @ Thanatos Sunbum
    August 22nd, 2013 at 9:53 am

    Outstanding commentary, as seems to be your wont, sir! I’d toke my spliff in your honor… if I had one. 🙁 Indeed, it is the hypocrisy of the “-ism” followers, the believers, the know-nothings who proclaim themselves and their particular “-ism” superior to all other “-isms” and the “-ismless” which have precipitated the cascading cataclysms accelerating across the planet. Many of those have tainted the threads here for quite some time yet, thankfully, not as prodigiously as many other threads around the ether. Alas, they are, in fact, legion and THAT is why there is absolutely no chance of averting oblivion. Regardless, in deference, I’ll pour another Cabernet and sip it with merriment to your sagacity.

  • B the D:

    I’m in awe. I have never seen anyone take the limerick form to such heights. I don’t know how you do it, but damn, you’re good. Could you do part of the Rubaiyat in a limerick? It’s one of my favourites.

  • “the growing awareness of the idea that no matter what we do now, we have very likely passed the point of being able to prevent changes that will make the planet uninhabitable for humanity.”

    This is not what is causing people to commit suicide, because most people are not aware of this at all.

  • My second and last for today.

    Cascading Failures:

    http://energyskeptic.com/2013/cascading-failure-liebigs-law-collapse/

    And all it would take is one glitch to get the ball rolling. Well, did we have one today? Zero Hedge has a series of posts about how every market has been halted because the indices have started a downward trend, then restarted, but may be halted again. They just close everything when stocks start to go down? How long can they keep that up?

  • Dear Mo Flow- hugs!

    Dear Ulvfugl- yeah I’ve played hide and seek with god plenty too. God is energy, power. But don’t tell anyone. Big secret. 😉 yep we are indoctrinated to hide from it, while simultaneously trying to conquer it. Instead of just being it. As we did, as we will. Should we spend our days telling others what we are all made of, while they argue that we are all made of different stuff?

    The burden of how ridiculous it must get is not something we can hide from, so we learn to love the process like our children and never stop. We are natures children after all and nature never stops loving us and giving always giving. Sharing all. So we will too. When she can’t, we won’t any either 🙂

  • @ Thanatos Sunbum

    I personally am an apatheist – I don’t give a shit.

    But you obviously do, or you would not give us the benefit of your fervent ranting on the subject, which is merely the obverse of the people whom you so ardently oppose.

    ———————————–

    The view from the UK, is that for around 90%, it’s a total non issue. If people believe in God, that’s fine. If they believe in Not-God, that’s fine. If they believe in Multi-Gods, that’s fine. Nobody cares. It’s a private personal matter.

    We’re not allowed to do human sacrifice or cannibalism, but otherwise, it seems to work fairly well, as far as I can tell.

    What’s mostly agreed to be offensive, obnoxious, unacceptable and not tolerated, is when people start insulting other people and telling them they shouldn’t believe whatever it is that they believe.

    @ Grant

    Thanks !

    For anyone who likes some tasty electric guitar mastery..

  • As said by the youtuber Theramin Trees (an atheist) “Of all the escapes from the pain of living, from food to sex to drugs, religion stands alone
    Only with religion is everyone else required to shoot up in order to sustain the high.”
    His series on death provides one atheists perspective – Part 1 here
    https://youtu.be/syNVg8V4EQU – the whole series is worth a listen

    Its been a while since I listened to it, but I don’t think he knows about extinction.

    Here is a way to look at extinction:

    Sure no one will watch a sunrise, but no one will pay a madam or pimp to fuck a 12 year old virgin. No parent will be forced to sell her children to get food for other children. Sure no song bird will send its lilting song aloft, but no song bird will find itself pierced by an eagle’s talons. We are so fearful of death that I think we overrate how good life is.

    To quote Benjamin the Donkey

    Little Lower Than Angels

    Killing is part of life’s dance—
    Unavoidable circumstance;
    Its bothersome features
    Are found in all creatures,
    And even in plants. Fucking plants.

    We animals idealize
    Ourselves with our own lying eyes;
    Accept and forgive,
    For nothing can live
    Unless another thing dies.

    With extinction, death, at least on this planet, ends. Is that so bad?

  • Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa.

    depressive lucidity, that callous attitude is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    “They’re all members of that group I hate! THEREFORE, they must all be equally guilty of dominating others, and therefore they all deserve everything they get!”

    That isn’t true. Some Americans are dominated by other Americans; there is in fact a moral distinction between people who are dominated and people who dominate others.

    Otherwise we would never be able to give people credit for the individual choices they make.

    Seriously, be careful. You sound a lot like how Americans have tended to treat others as a whole.

    “The people who attacked on 9/11 were Muslim! Therefore, if other Muslims die, I don’t care, because they’re ALL dominators, and therefore if they suffer at all, they’re just abusers playing the victim card!”

    The people who are committing suicide are the ones who have been repeatedly pushed around their whole lives, and then can’t take it anymore.

    To call them abusers who deserve what they got is a position lacking in compassion and empathy, just because they happen to share the same social group with other dominators.

    Be careful when saying, everyone in a group is all alike. You should know enough history to know how THAT usually turns out.

  • Erin says: Rubaiyat

    The Time Lag of Irreversible Change

    Erin, thanks! I have to stick to limericks because that’s the most complex poetry form I understand! 🙂
    ==

    Why Suicide Is Illegal

    And the lord said how it would be:
    You will serve, while I oversee;
    Since you’re only a serf,
    You will work on my turf
    Till you’re dead, and of no use to me.

  • Assisted suicide scene from the movie, Soylent Green. Maybe such a service will become available. Just don’t make me into green crackers!

    Thanks, Badlands for the article on VICE. As NTE becomes more mainstream, it’s going to be very interesting to observe the reactions of my capitalist, conservative, denial friends and associates. I quit trying to discuss climate change with any of them years ago. I remember, they would just look at me like, oh you poor little puppy. And hey, when things really heat up and everybody knows, I’ll bet a hundred bucks that not one of them will say, Kirk you were right.

  • Kathy Cassandra says, “With extinction, death, at least on this planet, ends. Is that so bad?”

    Brilliant! No, that will be good, very good! I can hardly wait! That is such a happy thought that it fills my heart with glee, something I haven’t felt for awhile.

    No more homework
    No more gnats
    No more wearing stupid hats!

    No more driving
    Can’t throw a fit
    Will never have to take a shit!

    It’s so nice
    No more lice
    No more snapping necks of mice!

    So now by Kathy’s happy thought,
    Has put an end to evil wrought

  • @Ulvfugl

    You state:

    “What’s mostly agreed to be offensive, obnoxious, unacceptable and not tolerated, is when people start insulting other people and telling them they shouldn’t believe whatever it is that they believe.”

    As with most things concerning NTE, you and I have much accord, and personally, I don’t give a shit what people believe, it’s wholly their business, as long as they keep it to themselves, especially, where it concerns this very sacred space, which is entirely built on empiricism. But what I do find intolerable, is this utter BS from Mo Flow:

    “My prayers are unworthy,
but, good Lord, have mercy,
and rescue me from eternal fire.
    Provide me a place among the sheep,
and separate me from the goats,
guiding me to Your right hand.”

    Is this where I’m suppose to forget how ruthlessly you yourself have gone after those espousing such vapid religiosity?

  • This is a very strange place…not just the comments part of Guy’s website, but the whole planet…and it’s showing up everywhere.

    Gail, I’ve been thinking about your comment from the 21st at 10:17am: I love listening to “believers” and “non-believers” argue the existence of God. I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re both different sides of the “same-coin” stage of consciousness. By that I mean, they both hold voraciously onto a belief that appears cannot be proven by either. The believer says God exists, and the non-believer insists he doesn’t (while placing a gender upon that which doesn’t exist). How is either point proven in this massive waste of time except where both parties try desperately to prove they’re “right” and the other is “wrong?”

    Developmentally, we humans can only describe things from our present level of consciousness. It’s why survival and tribal cultures thought that the lightning, weather, storms, the sun, were God and explained by Magic. Next was the stage where tribes were egalitarian that were the birthplace of the Goddess. As we “developed” further into the power stage of consciousness around the neolithic period, our gods became Masculine again and represented power, and thus Zeus, Thor, and Yahweh were born, then Christ and Buddha, and then with “the enlightenment,” scientific rationalism was born and God went out the window…

    My point is that God – and metaphysical experiences – are always interpreted at the level of consciousness from which they’re viewed. That doesn’t disprove God, it proves developmental theory and makes people think there’s been a pejorative judgement (not perjorative).

    Having been wounded by earlier stage developmental religion myself, and having first turned to atheism and subsequently to agnosticism, I can remember asking myself, “how rigidly do I want to hold my unprovable beliefs?”

  • @ Daniel

    Is this where I’m suppose to forget how ruthlessly you yourself have gone after those espousing such vapid religiosity?

    Thanks for the challenge, dear brother. Do you want me to kill him for you ? No problem 😉

    …where it concerns this very sacred space, which is entirely built on empiricism.

    You see, this is where I have to disagree with you. In my analysis, this space, (which perhaps should be respected as sacred but which often is full of rowdy brawling mayhem and juvenile trivia) is built on STORIES.

    These stories sub-divide into the scientific set, attached to empirical data and evidence, and all the rest.

    So, for easy labelling, I think of them as logos stories, and mythos stories.

    This can be even better clarified, when this division is seen as correlating with the division in our own brains, where there is a struggle for dominance between left and right hemispheres, as explained by Iain McGilchrist.

    So, from my own personal position I am able to say this, which will make me a candidate for stake-burning by fanatics and zealots from both side of the argument :

    Do I believe in God ? Yes. That’s the absolute and honest truth.
    Do I believe in God ? No. That’s the absolute and honest truth.

    Because my answer depends upon what is meant by the word ‘God’.

    This word means a great many different things, it’s highly complex, and to treat it as if people understood what they meant by it, when usually they do not, is absurd.

    Unfortunately, I am not going to be able to resolve this matter for everyone, in a comment. French Revolution was largely concerned with this issue. The American Constitution was largely concerned with Jefferson’s attempt to separate religions from State. That solution meant that the lethal combination of capitalism and science filled the gap, without any attachment to any spiritual or ethical control, which is part of the reason we have NTE.

    Einstein also had a go at sorting out the mess. He tried to explain the difference between the concept of a tribal God and a universal, cosmic God, but admitted that most people seemed incapable of comprehending what he meant.

    I think most people are incapable of comprehending what I mean.

    My personal take has nothing to do with faith or belief. That would be to accept someone’s story as ‘the truth’ and to invalidate or deny someone else’s story, which appears to be the bind that most people get stuck in.

    I don’t believe in Belief Systems at all. I think if you want to get a glimpse of Ultimate Truth, get past all cultural conditioning, for a start. That means, get free from all the stories you are telling yourself.

    So, dear Daniel, perhaps I have addressed your concern ? Perhaps not ?

    Oh, I’ve forgotten to kill my dear friend, mo flow.

    Well, my advice would be to shut the fuck up about the sheep and the goats, ‘Be still and know that thou art God’, or as Lao Tse is said to have said, ‘To the mind that is still, the whole Universe surrenders’.

    In other words, when that damn jabbering left-right hemisphere story-telling machine in your skull is quiet, then poor old God might get a chance to be heard… sort of thing.

    But then, that’s not what God is, is it. A person, with a voice. God is the whole thing, without any exception. Absolutely nothing excluded.
    God is the One Thing. The Uni-Verse.

    Or so I am told. In some of the old stories…

  • @ ogardener Thanks.
    @ Artleads Thanks.

    Actually, in thinking about the percentages I stated… perhaps there are others here who have more accurate figures. How many suicides would it take at the bottom to equal the environmental relief afforded by a 5% suicidal cull off the top? Instead of 25% of the bottom, as I flippantly estimated, perhaps, given the concentration of resource use and Earthly abuse at the tip of the human heap… a loss of the effete 5% would equal the loss of the most humbled 50% in terms of environmental impact. Since:

    Two of the seven billion humans on this planet hardly use fossil fuels or other non-renewable resources at all. An additional two or three billion don’t use very much.

    Meanwhile… the poorest of the poor suffer the most from the excesses of the richest of the rich. Driven to suicide [nay, extinction] by drunks in Lear Jets. Where’s the outrage? Not in mainstream media. Not in polite conversation. Far too lewd for toilet stalls. Maybe that’s why we were hacked.

  • @ulvfugl

    Isn’t it enough to simply accept the living earth as our “god” and respect our origins as the highly unlikely product of chance and natural selection?

    “God is the whole thing…” Locally she’s a little planet around a modest star at the edge of a galaxy among galaxies.

    Apes are so damn crazy 😉

  • Hey “infanttyrone,” my apologies for any misunderstanding, and perhaps I am overly sensitive to those buffoons who categorically deny the existence of UFOs w/o ever having spent more than 5 minutes investigating the subject. You will find some of those right here on this blog, although one would assume people who contribute to this site would be more enlightened than religious fundamentalists who also flatly deny the existence of UFOs since the possibility of other worldly life forms more technologically advanced than mankind completely deconstructs their religious dogma

  • Rob
    you raise some interesting side issues with this set:

    “… The dozens of pairs of Nike shoes I purchased caused much suffering. So, what’s the best thing I can do now?, now that I am aware? Well,for one, I stopped buying Nike shoes, or any shoes. I might be able to scavenge some used shoes when I need them, and that’s the best I can do.

    I take the example of shoes made by exploitative ‘slave’ labour as one encapsulating almost all products and some services now ‘delivered’ to Anex-1 nations. So what do we do when we realise the whole flaming system generated around us, and which everyone, or nearly everyone is embedded, and cannot wriggle free from? Is suicide the honourable option at the end stage of life?

    Notwithstanding the realities of old world village subsistence life pressures depicted in Kurosawa’s ‘The Bald of Narayama’, (with the extremely healthy old woman bashing her own teeth out, and going off to die because the potato crop was way too small for her family to survive the coming winter), I think something much deeper is going on here.

    In a hyper-materialist endgame culture we have around us in Anex-1 nations, is it suicide that is put up as the only ‘solution’ to not being able any longer to live an ethical individual life? In the past individuals could join collectives and attempt to reform, (yes, very subjective and suspect) the communal, or collective processes. With the absolute corruption of all the Christenising cults of the modern era, and the clear understanding that carbon embedded processes ‘dominate’ world industrial economics, any collective action is impotent with the advent of corporate supremacy and inverted totalitarianism lapping at our heels. So what is an individual to do in a hyper-materialist culture that virtually mandates you commit ecocide by just eating some food, wearing a garment, or using an electronic gadget, even in the service of informing yourself of the FUBAR going down?
    Well, suicide is an option, but not for me. I sense it is the cheap alternative to going through the fire.
    Transcendence of the Ego is what we need, but it is denied to us as a conceptual option, and a conventional pathway, by the ingrained materialist tendencies of the now dominating world corporate culture.

    Not only are the commodities now our culture, so too are the competitive currencies, that have seeped into the framework of our sociality. We see no path to getting from here to an ethical – non eco-cidal – way of life. Small scale communities of dedicated people may have had a good chance to give it a go, but the coming hoards of the hungry, if not the Catastrophic Climate Change heat demons will deprive these too of a usable crop for the next season.

    Suicide is an inflection of the urge to Ego transcendence, but one denied a coherent understanding of the real options available, and the whole acceptance of NTE as an OK thing to have as a consequence of our destroying the planet so far, is a bit skew to me.
    So to be clear, many think we deserve NTE as a species because ‘we’ have done the dirty on the planet, the other life forms, and even the less privelaged among us – greed, pollution, self interest, corruption to get the profits, etc. Is that a fair assessment of many here?

    But look, the idea of self interest as the seat of our being is just like affirming the Ego is all we are. Selflessness is all around us, and the living proof is any act of giving to others. Can’t actually give the time here to prove the case, but we are greater than Ego concerns, and this NTE bottleneck is a wake up point for Humanity, too little to late perhaps, but it is nevertheless the boundary point in out evolution as conscious beings where we need to discard the Ego and move on to deeper issues, deeper transformations of out self concepts, our identities.
    Yes we are not consumers, but citizens, yet it is all just slipping away beneath our feet. The deal is done, in many ways, the culture is dying, but we need to hang on to that which is still of perennial value, or meaningful human content, and take that with us on the next phase, if we get to have one.
    The idea of suicide seems reasonable, even in the Soylent Green scenario, excepting that we are luminous beings, and are way better than this.
    As an aside, I recently was in a local municipal library doing some research and overheard a very elderly lady, over 90 looking, dictate her hand written letter addressed to the prime minister(Australia). The librarian dutifully helped with minor grammatical editing. The letter was coherent, and often punctuated with lengthy sentences, that included parenthesis, etc. It all was well constructed, not a typical rant. The old lady, her hands shaking read to the librarian, telling her elected leader how messed up the world is now compared to when she was a girl. She is leaving this planet soon, and all her life experience is going to nothing, for she was hoping the prime minister could fix the mess. Sans the dementia of old age, the old lady has every reason to despair, but her cultural customs and the ‘engine’ of her empire’s way of life was set many, many hundreds of years ago, and her dismay is all too seeable to many here.
    We have to let it die, this awful hideous thing we have been cleaved to from birth. But we need better vision, IMO, than just suicide as a reasonable option – we need the resilience to let go of so much that is not truly ourselves.
    ‘School-yard blaming’ is one of the disruption tools, which has been well used by TPTB, that allowed us to sleepwalk into this ‘ravine of no escape’.
    Stick together, and we can at least look out for our neighbour, as the tide comes in, and in, and in……
    We are not the Ego, the Ego is what dies, or is burnt away by going through the fire. What remains is all there ever was, is or will be. Take or leave, just sayin.

  • Another must-see Max Keiser Report….

    ‘[KR487] Keiser Report: NSA-spread Digital AIDS’

    http://www.maxkeiser.com/2013/08/kr487-keiser-report-nsa-spread-digital-aids/

    First half, Max at his zany best.
    Last half is a revealing interview with Catherine Austin Fitts, very articulate and knows where the money is going…Watch till the end.

  • For those who equate the teachings of Jalaluddin Rumi with non-dualism, it could be cathartic to recall Mansur al-Hallaj.

    Preachings about rising above narratives may be a bit more credible if not accompanied by municipal dump trucks’ worth of unloads capable of burying a forum and nearly burying a blog.

  • We are not the Ego, the Ego is what dies,

    Actually, the “we” also dies, when the delusion of the “I” for each one of the “I”s is dropped.

  • Why contemplate suicide when you know GOD can solve all your problems?
    My dilemma is,of the ~2800 deities worshiped today,pray to which one shall I?
    Pray to all. That will work!

    I’m leaving here laughing.

  • The Gary Stamper article says:

    We’re a nation that has found meaning in individualism, unrealistic expectations, and financial standing.

    To avoid to falling into depression and suicide we should have empathy, and celebrate the success and “financial standing” of others, even if our own lives are disappointing. One way to do this is to look at the Forbes list of the richest people in America, it is here that you will find great cause for happiness, because the list of billionaires and their amount of wealth grows enormously every year. And since the sole purpose of American society is to produce the continual and endless accumulation of capital to those at the top, Americans should be happier than ever before. How can one be unhappy when they see that their society has met its goals so spectacularly? So if you are counseling the suicidal, please bring up this great, good news. This news should bring meaning and happiness to every American since they have all contributed to building the financial wealth of those at the top, and all the destruction of ecosystems and people has been worth it, since it helped us to achieve our goal. So, America, all your hard work has paid off, don’t despair, celebrate!

    http://www.good.is/posts/the-400-richest-americans-are-now-richer-than-the-bottom-50-percent-combined

  • Gary you wrote Gail, I’ve been thinking about your comment from the 21st at 10:17am: I love listening to “believers” and “non-believers” argue the existence of God. I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re both different sides of the “same-coin” stage of consciousness. By that I mean, they both hold voraciously onto a belief that appears cannot be proven by either. The believer says God exists, and the non-believer insists he doesn’t (while placing a gender upon that which doesn’t exist). How is either point proven in this massive waste of time except where both parties try desperately to prove they’re “right” and the other is “wrong?”

    I cannot prove there isn’t a god, but I don’t believe that there is one, that is true. That is irrelevant to me. I can prove that there is not a good god who is powerful and acts in the world of humans. Just one child tortured by Nazi scientists proves that.

    From all the facts on the ground, the universe also doesn’t give a damn about the self replicators. They follow their program and mindlessly reproduce until something stops them, usually another self replicator. Humans are unique in that they have no outside force able to stop them, so they are stopping themselves. A summary of how that works can be found here http://candobetter.net/node/2755 the short version of Craig Dilworth’s book Too Smart for our own Good. Given that all the spirituality through the ages has actually assisted us in getting to this place perhaps the only thing that could have saved us was an understanding that we are not special, we have no special meaning to the world, we are products of our genes and if we cannot understand how we are programmed we are doomed.

    Ah well, too late.

    Kirk, yes no more sacrificial mice on the altar of human progress or on the altar of cat humor. No more cosmetics dropped in bunnies eyes. No more 2nd eagle chick kicked out of the nest by the stronger chick. No more plague, no more clubbing baby seals to death, no more parasites, no more trees strangled by strangler figs, no more pain, no more death.

    Unless of course the Fredrich Kling’s aliens have come to save or slave us. I have no firm convictions on aliens. I just have spent a lot of years looking at the world and it is really a pretty awful place even in its most natural form, for self replicators are programmed to avoid death which is the very thing they cannot do in the end. So despite any distractions, drugs, religion, TV etc we know we must die and it scares the shit out of us. Dying should scare us, it is seldom painless and often very painful. But sleep is nice, anesthesia is nice when a Dr is cutting you open, I have no reason to think that being dead will be any different.

  • @BtD
    Nice work…

    probably news to no-one here: http://pacificvoyagers.org/midway-atoll-the-plastic-plight-of-the-albatross

    Somewhere, academics are re-evaluating the ‘prophetic allegory’ (or is that ‘allegorical prophecy’?) aspects of Coleridge’s poem in the light of such weird developments..

  • How’s everyone today? Here’s a clip of the past week around the world in climate change:

    My own neighborhood is listed here as a victim of torrential flooding.

    As to suicide – and thanks, Gary, for bringing this up so we can discuss all the implications and ramifications – one does what one must to stay alive as long as possible, but then must make decisions like “should I roll that ol’ lady (or gent) over there for her purse so I can eat today?” Many in Greece, having been cut off from state welfare and with no job, homelessness looming and social pressure mounting have decided on various ways of “opting out” like self-immolation and the like, because they can’t make someone else’s life worse so that they can live another day (to suffer). We, as a species have been causing all manner of death around us without a second thought for a very long time. Now that the environment is abandoning us (by our own poisonous hand), we’re being similarly marginalized. What goes around comes around, as the ol’ ’60’s saying went.

    Many of us have reached this same conclusion: enjoy what time you have left. The back end of that attitude is becoming, have a way out planned and available: whether it’s “o.d.-ing” on something (from alcohol, drugs, poison or gas – including car exhaust), pistol (including “suicide by cop”), electrocution (until the grid fails), stepping in front of the moving train that used to take you to work, car “accident” with a bridge abutment, “falling” from a bridge, or any other imaginative way.

    Starvation is painful, drowning is said to be euphoric. The big dirt nap awaits, whichever way we decide to get there. Don’t go before you have to, if you want to see how this all plays out (i’m becoming less and less interested), or join the “religion” that some quote here that commands one to kill oneself immediately (and the corollary, take some bastard with you if you can).

    If one dies during sleep, do they wake up dead? Would there be any change of unconsciousness?

  • @ frogcounter

    Isn’t it enough to simply accept the living earth as our “god” and respect our origins as the highly unlikely product of chance and natural selection?
    “God is the whole thing…” Locally she’s a little planet around a modest star at the edge of a galaxy among galaxies. Apes are so damn crazy

    Thanks for that stimulating thought. Especially the last bit. Yes, whatever idea anyone has, you can be guaranteed that someone else will misunderstand it, distort it, corrupt it, exploit it, co-opt it, and abuse it.

    If we did accept the living Earth as our god/goddess, then we should be treating it with the greatest respect, and using science as a way to understand how to live as harmoniously as possible with what is.

    It’s obvious that have not been and are not doing that. Very much the opposite. As I see it, a mass extinction event in now unavoidable, so we are on the Beach of Doom, and these discussions are interesting conversations to pass the time and keep boredom, maybe even suicide, at bay.

    I mean, it is absolutely fascinating, trying to unravel the historical strands, the amazing mess of tangled ideas, that we have inherited.

    TR left this remark :
    Why contemplate suicide when you know GOD can solve all your problems?
    My dilemma is,of the ~2800 deities worshiped today,pray to which one shall I? Pray to all. That will work! I’m leaving here laughing.

    It’s obvious TR is clueless and hasn’t even begun to study this subject. The Hindus alone have 330 million gods and goddesses.

    Why not pray to them all ? Why wouldn’t it work ? Who decided what the rules are ? TR ? What is prayer, anyway ? And where does it say that any of the gods or goddesses or God CAN solve problems ? What IS a god or a goddess or a God ? WHERE, when, why are such things experienced or conceived or encountered ? If they don’t exist, are nonsense, why is history littered with these words and why do people get so worked up about them ?

    It’s obviously ridiculous to sweep it all away, as some atheists do, claiming superior moral and intellectual authority and belittling the religious as ignorant benighted fools, when, for many people their God, or gods/goddesses, are possibly the most important thing in their lives.

    To answer any of these questions needs a close and deep study of the subject and digging into history.

    You can do this as a theological student, as an academic enquiry, as comparative religion, as an anthropologist. It’s really a vast area, a lifetime’s work to get a grip on the variety of stuff that’s out there.

    Or, there’s another approach, if you want your own personal spiritual experience, which is nothing to do with book learning, via meditation or DMT or mushrooms or any of the other traditional practices that have been followed by shamans and vision quests and in religious retreats for millennia.

    Or, you can just think about this stuff. I’m really not in favour of telling anybody what they should do.

    However, if you look closely at where the idea that we are ‘the product of chance and natural selection’ came from, which is at the heart of modern science, it traces back to Descartes, mostly.

    And it was not a scientific rational decision. Descartes got his ideas from an ANGEL. Everything was under the thumb of the Catholic Church. If you wanted to do scientific research, there was politics to consider, so there was a sort unofficial contractual agreement, as a matter of expediency, the Church would keep control of spiritual matters and people’s souls, and the scientists could have the material world. So, science became materialist, or physicalist.

    Up to date, with modern physics, all the quantum stuff, science’s materialist paradigm doesn’t really work any more, but nobody has figured out how to update it.

    Now, before I get Ozman here hysterically demanding an apology once again, the materialist paradigm works WELL ENOUGH to get our meals cooked and to explain climate change. The anomalies are marginal.

    The point is, the scientific materialist paradigm gets stuck with the fundamental problem that a Universe that banged into galaxies and black holes and all the rest, and produced this little planet, also evolved something that was capable of being conscious of the existence of that Universe, of this existence…

    This fact is so remarkable and remains so inexplicable. It’s the key point where all enquiries, philosophical, religious, scientific, all eventually end up… and then what ?

    What is it ? Nobody knows…

    http://brutus.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/a-new-consciousness

    Preachings about rising above narratives may be a bit more credible if not accompanied by municipal dump trucks’ worth of unloads capable of burying a forum and nearly burying a blog.

    Robin Datta, your cheap jibe tells me you understand nothing of the point being made. A blog is made of stories, text on screens. Blogs don’t rise above narratives, or they would be blank. But then, you’re just a meat robot who repeats old stories you have been told. You couldn’t be expected to understand what it is to actually be a buddha, could you ?

  • Tom If one dies during sleep, do they wake up dead? Would there be any change of unconsciousness?

    Ah that is an interesting question. Also where is the consciousness hiding when someone is in a vegetative state – is it sitting in limbo until they die or has it already flitted off to wherever consciousness is supposed to go when we die. If someone loses their “self” gradually to Alzheimers is the consciousness flitting off in bits and pieces? If specific brain injuries create specific deficits of consciousness why would that be so if consciousness continues after death. Is this fact like the fossils, a trick by god to test our faith.

    What about Cotard’s syndrome The central symptom in Cotard’s syndrome is the delusion of negation. Those who suffer from this illness often deny that they exist or that a certain portion of their body exists. Such a person seems to be conscious on one level but they believe they are not. What does that say about consciousness? Literature shows that Cotard’s is associated with lesions in the parietal lobe. Patients with Cotard’s generally have more brain atrophy than control groups and more median frontal lobe atrophy in particular.[8] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cotard_delusion

    Seems to me to be clear that consciousness is firmly attached to the grey matter and damage to specific parts the gray matter can predictably produce loss of facets of consciousness. Therefore it is not hard to conclude that destruction of all the gray matter is the end of all consciousness.

    As I have noted before, if reincarnation is a fact are we all to be reincarnated at blue green algae and thermopile bacteria?

    I had a friend who drowned as a child, she said it was peaceful until they revived her – the worst part was being revived. Still there is that panic to breathe and that first lungful of water…..

    Final Exit by Derek Humphrey discusses the drawbacks of many methods and offers an alternative method, the bag sleeping pill method – however they have recently updated that method to use helium and helium is running out. One can find information by looking up “Final Exit” There is also “death by charcoal” – google with give you more on that.

    You can also google “passive hanging” – apparently how David Carradine died, although perhaps not intentionally as the “almost hanged” is sometimes used to enhance sexual feelings as probably was the case for him. The accident for him was that he passed out before he stood up and relieved the pressure.

  • and now for something completely different:

    http://uk.news.yahoo.com/satellites-glimpse-ultra-powerful-%E2%80%9Cblack-hole%E2%80%9D-whirlpools-in-atlantic-151036336.html#sSLKggg

    Satellites have shown two mysterious ‘black hole’ whirlpools in the South Atlantic ocean – ultra powerful “vortexes” which suck water down into the depths.

    The whirpools – never witnessed before – would suck down ships, debris and even living creatures, moving 1.3 million cubic metres of water per second.

    Two of the black holes – or “maelstroms” – have been sighted in three months by physicists from Zurich and Miami.

    The powerful vortices of current have been described as ‘maelstroms’ and are ‘mathematical analogues’ for black holes – which is to say they do exactly the same with water that black holes do with light.
    (read the rest)

  • @Tom
    How’s everyone today?Not too good, not too good.
    If one dies during sleep, do they wake up dead? They wake up disappointed.

    On the God thing, I’ve tried out various religious beliefs as a kid, was even baptized a couple times. Never found a good fit, until looking at [ GOD ] as the Generating, Organizing, and Destroying force of the universe. That works for me, as it is all-encompassing. Now I don’t think about it, I just let it be and try to be good.

    Gary Stamper says, This is a very strange place…not just the comments part of Guy’s website, but the whole planet…and it’s showing up everywhere.

    I am Chelsea Manning.

  • ulvfugl Says: “Because my answer depends upon what is meant by the word ‘God’.”

    Yes. My dog’s flea said “Undefined ‘buzzwords’ allow us to bask in our lather of blather and never be ‘wrong’. It gives us the wiki-buddists and ignorant genius’ that abound on the internet.”

    Which leads to …

    Robin Datta Says: “Preachings about rising above narratives may be a bit more credible if not accompanied by municipal dump trucks’ worth of unloads capable of burying a forum and nearly burying a blog.”

    Goes to what Daniel speaks of – ‘sacred space’ – which I interpret as sort of ‘stay on topic’. Dr. Mcpherson has provided a forum with few rules, where just about anyone can easily post their stories, theories, trials or tribulations regarding NTE. OFC we will hear about God or religion or feminism or UFO’s and aliens – and anything and everything that encompasses our human condition. But this isn’t the place to ‘argue’ these things. And IMO, if we allow ourselves to go in that direction, as Robin points out, it can bury a forum.

    Someone else ThanatosSunBum? mentioned the idea of ‘pouncing’. We perceive a disagreement with our pet buzzword and feel we must respond. I’ve done it and I’m sorry I did. Now, I compose my post in notepad and try to respect Dr. Mcpherson’s wish to attack ideas – not people. 🙂 (and limit posts to one or two a day).

    Personally – I don’t think NBL was hacked by the NSA – we present no threat to anyone. I believe NBL may have been hacked because of the turmoil at DGR — I believe NBL had just posted two articles by DGR members, and openly recommends DGR.

    But I do believe recent open discussions of suicide may ’cause some attention – say – if they were to compare NBL to ‘Heavens Gate’. OFC, IMO, these discussions are entirely on topic here as applied to our personal decisions.

    NASDAQ shut down for several hours yesterday – big-time shenanigans – and just after Obama’s closed door meeting with all the financial bigwigs. I believe they will soon make it difficult for folks to organize online – just a feeling 🙂

    Thanks to everyone – especially the regulars who post their most intimate feelings and thoughts for all to share. It certainly makes NBL a special place for me.

  • @ Daniel and 18000: Thanks!
    ==

    18000days says: http://pacificvoyagers.org/midway-atoll-the-plastic-plight-of-the-albatross

    And lo! a great sea-bird did cross
    (It ne’er had eat food that we’d toss):
    We’d hollo! and we’d play
    With that sweet bird each day,
    Till we killed the Albatross.
    ==

    Kathy Cassandra says: self replicators are programmed to avoid death

    The Purpose of Life

    On account of doom coming nigh,
    We can’t wait to decide by and by;
    So apply Occam’s knife:
    The whole purpose of life
    Is trying your best not to die.
    ==

    Style Element

    In order to be influential,
    There’s a word that’s simply essential;
    It don’t mean a thing
    If it ain’t got that swing:
    Now everything’s exponential.
    ==

    Kirk Hamilton says: And hey, when things really heat up and everybody knows, I’ll bet a hundred bucks that not one of them will say, Kirk you were right.

    They won’t say that you knew your snuff,
    But they’ll show what they think soon enough:
    You’ll experience firsthand
    That they do understand
    When they’re coming to take all your stuff.

  • Yes, NBL (and several others) is being watched. Be cautious when you hear a knock on your door (good reason # 237 for not having a door!).

    I’d like to know if Guy would be willing to share his site stats? Like how many hits a day he gets and all that kind of stuff, just curious.

    I read this blog every single day for years until I finally posted a comment. Just curious how many other “lurkers” are out there.

    I would like to echo Robin Datta: “Preachings about rising above narratives may be a bit more credible if not accompanied by municipal dump trucks’ worth of unloads capable of burying a forum and nearly burying a blog.”

    Take a look at what happened to the NING site. What a pity.

    @ Tom:

    Yes, and with Winter approaching, you can just sit outside and fall asleep, never to wake. I hear that freezing to death is a painless method.

    Again, I keep waiting for some trigger, something to happen to put the chaos into motion, something to validate all the doom talk right here, right now. I have based everything on it, but I can’t hold out forever, I just want to make it long enough to see the govt buildings burn and the politicians hang. If I was a doomer living in Syria, I guess I could say I’ve seen it! Or Lybia, or Egypt, etc. But I want to see it right here in the USA.

  • ulvfugl

    You are safe, no need to worry.

    My view is that we, our psycho physical body-minds, are the portal to getting off this rock, and it is authentic Self Transcendence that is the way. That is when you just don’t come back, at least not unconsciously!

    The pertinent translation of the old: “The meek shall inherit the Earth” means that only the courageous get to leave, without expensive metal rocket ships. Silly billies, bodies were not grown for out there. You don’t need one to go on your merry way.This is why we still see no Aliens, in embodied form.

    Just sayin, probably busted the 2 poster rule, but its hard to tell down here. Crikey its gettin late, mate!

  • On and on the clinging to the old goes. As if those claiming God ever could follow that claim to the inevitable end and as if those disclaiming God could either? Our current brain system we are all trapped in allows us no end. It force feeds us a seemingly eternal life of hell that we long ago decided was not worth living. We, following mans attempted prison break, have been feebly trying to escape that greater Guantanamo for millennia. Nature is about to kick our sorry asses ( sorry Benjamin) right out and beyond our conscious dilemma. We cannot seem to free ourselves willingly.

    So be it.

    There is redemption. One way, or another.

  • Until recently, this site was being viewed about two thousand times daily. Two-thirds of the visits were unique (vs. repeat “customers”). Recently, however, site visits have soared, and now range from four thousand to six thousand daily visits.

  • last post (over the limit for today, but didn’t post yesterday)

    music:

    Badlands: sorry to hear (I read your comments), wish I could help but it looks as though you at least have a handle on it (being, I guess, a “functioning” depressive like me), able to rise to the occasion and keep on keepin’ on when you have to.

    BtD: incredible display of your forte recently!

    Kathy C, Rob, Badlands – thanks for your replies/input.

    everyone – thanks for the stories and links.

  • Some possibly reassuring perspective.

    “Should Fukushima’s radioactive water be dumped at sea?”

    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn24100-should-fukushimas-radioactive-water-be-dumped-at-sea.html

    Ken Buesseler of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts says the Kanda estimate is probably the best he is aware of, and closely matches figures released on 21 August by Tepco, of 0.1 to 0.6 TBq per month for caesium-137 and 0.1 to 0.3 for strontium.

    He points out that the north Pacific contains an estimated 100,000 TBq of caesium-137 from H-bomb testing in the 1960s, so the fallout from Fukushima is adding only a fraction of that. Total discharges from the Sellafield nuclear plant in the UK released 39,000 TBq over 40 years, he says.

    Buesseler says that during his own sampling survey in waters 30 to 600 kilometres from Fukushima in June 2011, three months after the meltdown, the highest levels he found were 3 Bq of caesium-137 per litre of seawater. By comparison, the natural weathering of rocks results in about 10 Bq of radioactive potassium-40 making it into each litre of seawater.

    On an international level, even if all the waste from Fukushima was dumped neat into the Pacific, dilution would eliminate any radiation risks to distant countries like the US, says Simon Boxall of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, UK.

    The ocean would be the safest place for the waste water, says Geraldine Thomas, who runs the Chernobyl Tissue Bank at Imperial College London. “But to make that politically acceptable they have to talk to the local population. They have to make people understand that low levels of radiation don’t matter because we’re all exposed to it all the time.”

    In other words, it is more of a communication problem than a public health problem. “None of this is going to do anything health wise,” she says. “Fukushima is nothing compared to Chernobyl.”

  • Cowgirl Apocalypse Haiku #22

    Extinguished – words fail.
    She rode dark truth’s wild edge home –
    in a poet’s name.

    (For E and the cowgirls who miss her.)